Slate Campaign Mail Required to Disclose Far More Under New Bill By Assemblywoman Gonzalez

Monday, December 7, 2020

SACRAMENTO – (Monday, Dec. 7, 2020) – During election season in California, slate mailers flood voters’ mailboxes with often very little information about who is paying for them and the named groups that are listed as the campaign committee. Today, State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) introduced Assembly Bill 40 to give voters a more clear picture of the money and organizations behind these mail pieces.

“Slate mailers are consistently used to try to deceive voters in our state — more so in this past election than ever before,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “This bill provides transparency to help voters make better informed decisions at the ballot box.”

AB 40 would require additional disclosures to be included on each slate mailer. A slate mailer is a piece of mass mail that lists support or opposition for four or more candidates or ballot measures. The organizations that create slate mail often exist only for the purpose of sending slate mailers and may be paid to list a support or opposed position for a candidate or ballot measure. They use innocuous sounding names when disclosing who paid for the mailer, like the Coalition for Literacy or Budget Watchdogs, in order to make voters believe legitimate advocacy groups are behind the mailer.

AB 40 requires the organization or committee listed as sending out the slate mail to disclose the number of people who are actually members of said committee. For example, if a group named “Concerned Seniors of California” is formed for the sole purpose of being listed on a slate mailer, then it would have to state the individual who registered the slate piece is in fact the only member of that group.

Additionally, AB 40 requires each candidate or ballot measure that paid to appear on the mailer to have the total amount paid listed underneath their name where they are listed as “endorsed.”

For questions on AB 40 or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos: samantha.gallegos@asm.ca.gov