www.CAcleanAction.org

Sandra Fluke scored 100% on the Clean Money questionnaire

Her opponent, Ben Allen, scored 100%.

They are running for state Senate District 26 which includes the cities of Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Manhattan Beach, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Lomita, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills Estates, Avalon, Rolling Hills and parts of Los Angeles and Torrance.

The California Clean Money Action Fund asked all candidates for state office in California to answer six questions about whether they support legislation for more disclosure on political ads and public financing of campaigns.

Overall Score.

Sandra Fluke (D) Ben Allen (D)
Overall Score: 100% Overall Score: 100%

The overall score on the survey is determined by the answers on the first five questions. For every “Yes”, the candidate gets 20%, for every “No” they get 0%. An answer of “Other” gets 10% unless it’s clear from their explanation that the candidate would or would not support the legislation.

Q1. Do you support legislation requiring ballot measure ads to clearly state their three largest true individual, corporate or union funders instead of committee names, even if the funds are transferred through one or more intermediary committees or organizations?
Sandra Fluke (D) Ben Allen (D)
Answer: "Yes"
Answer: "Yes"

"Ballot measures that were meant to be a democratizing measure have become yet another way for powerful moneyed interests to achieve their desired policy goals. Voters need to understand who is behind the massive expenditures we see for and against ballot measures."

"Democracy functions best when the public is informed about where money in politics is coming from. I was a strong supporter of SB 52 (2014), which required that ads supporting or opposing ballot measures, disseminated by non-candidate and non-party committees, must list the largest cumulative contributors and demonstrate the committee paying for the ad. In addition, I also strongly supported SB 27, which became law this year and requires any non-candidate/non-political party committee that makes contributions on behalf of California ballot initiatives (or candidates) to file campaign disclosure reports about donors of $100 or more. There are too many ways to hide money, and it's important that the press and voters be able to track the money trail."

Q2. Do you support legislation requiring independent ads for and against candidates to clearly state their three largest true individual, corporate or union funders instead of committee names, even if the funds are transferred through one or more intermediary committees or organizations?
Sandra Fluke (D) Ben Allen (D)
Answer: "Yes"
Answer: "Yes"

"One of my top priorities is to make our elections more transparent and elected leaders and candidates more accountable to their constituents by providing voters with information about who is actually funding campaigns. We all know the current committee names can be misleading. We should do everything we can to ensure voters have this important information when evaluating their choices."

"In the same way that voters must be aware of the funders of each ballot initiative, voters must also be aware of who is running ads apart from the campaign. This is especially true because all candidate campaigns cannot work in concert with any independent expenditure campaigns. As mentioned above, I strongly supported SB 27, which became law this year and requires any non-candidate/non-political party committee that makes contributions on behalf of California candidates (or ballot initiatives) to file campaign disclosure reports about donors of $100 or more. As such, if voters look at the Secretary of State’s website, they can see who these expenditures are coming from. But for the voter that does not research various committees, independent candidate ads should list top dollar cumulative supporters. Voters must have all the information they can get on each candidate, so that they can make an informed decision."

Q3. Would you support legislation described in questions 1 and 2 if your constituents were clearly in favor of it while major campaign funders opposed it?
Sandra Fluke (D) Ben Allen (D)
Answer: "Yes"
Answer: "Yes"

"I am incredibly proud of the way I have conducted my campaign, which includes receiving support from more than 4,700 donors. I have said publicly on many occasions that I will not accept direct contributions and will repudiate independent expenditures on my behalf that I believe do not have my community’s best interests at heart. Running the type of campaign fueled by the grassroots gives me the independence we all seek in our elected leaders, and will allow me to take on the tough fights, regardless of the political or personal consequences. On this issue or any other, I would absolutely amplify the voices of my constituents."

"Yes, voters must be able to base their choices for candidates and ballot initiatives on all of the information, not just the information that committees choose to show voluntarily. And at the end of the day, while campaign funders are important, there is no constituency more important than voters. I would be wasting my time if I were just going up to Sacramento to be a tool of funders and special interest groups--there are plenty of people who can do that."

Q4. Do you support legislation requiring state and local candidates to stand by their political ads, saying in those ads that they “approve this message” as federal candidates must?
Sandra Fluke (D) Ben Allen (D)
Answer: "Yes"
Answer: "Yes"

"Again, this is another important part of disclosure and transparency that I agree is necessary."

"Californians have had a 12-year case study on whether this federal law works, and I believe that it holds candidates feet to the fire about their messaging, requiring them to take responsibility. These words prevent candidates from having plausible deniability over the content of their ads. It does not necessarily ensure the truth of the ad, but the media can hold candidates accountable on this point. I also believe the law in California should go further than the McCain-Feingold Act did in 2002. Under federal law, you only have to say these magical words in televised ads, not Internet ads. Like televised ads, these words will take time away from the content of online ads, but I feel the balance should be strongly in favor of disclosure. California must go above and beyond the federal law and must now be a case study for federal law."

Q5. Do you support legislation providing competitive amounts of public financing or small donor matching funds to campaigns of qualified candidates who demonstrate a broad base of public support and abide by strict spending limits?
Sandra Fluke (D) Ben Allen (D)
Answer: "Yes"
Answer: "Yes"

"Absolutely, and in fact this is another one of my top priorities when it comes to achieving real campaign finance reform. I have worked incredibly hard to fund my campaign through small dollar contributions, and frankly we should be giving candidates incentives to fund their campaigns in a similar way. If we provide public financing through small dollar matching funds, candidates will have the incentive and support they need to solicit smaller dollar donations, leading to a campaign where the voices of the people are heard and amplified, rather than those of the special interests."

"Yes absolutely. I publicly supported Proposition 89 in 2006 and publicly supported Proposition 15 (2010) because I believe that public financing of elections helps make politicians more accountable to the people, rather than lobbyists and corporations. I have mailed out a piece to the electorate voicing my support for public financing."

Q6. Would you support a system of public financing of campaigns as in question 5 that covers all state races, including Assembly, State Senate, and statewide offices, if it were funded by an annual tax or fee of no more than $8 per California resident? *
Sandra Fluke (D) Ben Allen (D)
Answer: "Other"
Answer: "Yes"

"I am in favor of public financing, but am opposed in general to flat taxes because of their regressive impact on lower income communities."

"As I stated in my answer to question 8, I believe public financing should be available to all candidates for the state level in California, including the Assembly, State Senate, and other statewide offices. I supported Proposition 15, which would have ensured public financing through raised fees on California’s registered lobbyists. I would definitely support some sort of tax or fee, as we would have to figure out a way to fund public funding and having a defined source for it would mean that it wouldn't be taking away from the general fund. I'm not sure that a flat per person fee would be my preferred approach, because it's regressive, but I would support it if it were the approach we were to all decide upon. I supported Prop 21, for example, which charged a flat car registration fee to fund the state parks system."

* The wording of this question created some confusion about its intent. The intent was to ask about funding of public campaign finance for state offices with a tax or fee that averaged $8 per person, an investment in the integrity of our elections that is less than one-third of 1% of California's General Fund this year. However some candidates responded to the question as if it were proposing an additional flat tax of $8 to be paid by every Californian. Due to the confusion the wording of this question created, its answers were not scored and did not count towards the overall score for the Clean Money Survey.

Note: Candidate explanations are shown as submitted. CCMAF has not edited the candidate explanations for content or writing style.

California Clean Money Action Fund
3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 208, Culver City, CA  90230.  United States.
Phone: (800) 566-3780.  Fax:(888) 633-8898.  info@CAcleanaction.org