Testimony in Opposition to Assembly Bill 225

Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections

June 4, 2013

Less time for early voting. More time for lobbyists to make campaign donations.

It’s not hard to see whose side this bill is on.

Looking at what this legislation does in the area of campaign financing, some language is added to state law and some is removed. Language added to state law includes a loophole allowing interest groups to avoid disclosing their election campaigning. Language the bill removes dates back to 1905 and prohibits corporate election spending.

Here again, it is not hard to see whose side this bill is on.

There are words inscribed on the ceiling of the governor’s conference room: “The will of the people is the law of the land.” By making voting harder while making it easier for special interests to influence our elections, this legislation defaces that inscription and dishonors the great Republican who not only said those words but also had a major hand in inspiring the 1905 law this legislation aims to erase from the statutes.

Representative democracy is built on a simple principle: The consent of the governed as a condition for governing. By making it harder for voters to express their will while making it easier for rich and powerful interests to influence our elections, this legislation is a sweeping assault on that principle. It picks up where the 2011 redistricting plan left off. If there is any truth in advertising, it will become known as the “Govern Without Public Support Act.”