Ben authored the legislation, SB 254 that placed a measure on the November 2016 ballot urging Congress to overturn the disastrous Citizens United ruling. This decision by the United States Supreme Court gave corporations the ability to spend unlimited funds in campaigns. The proposition won with 53% of the vote.
Ben has taken a leadership role in bringing about more transparency in campaign spending. He’s a principal coauthor of the Disclose Act, which will improve the disclosure of who’s behind campaign advertisements, and he authored an additional bill which will impose similar disclosure requirements on paid signature gatherers seeking to place measures on the statewide ballot.
Candidates for judicial office frequently embellish their titles on the ballot. Ben has authored SB 235 to limit candidates’ ability to use sensationalist titles, and require them to instead use their actual job titles. The Los Angeles Times recently editorialized in support of this reform.
In 2016, Ben authored a law, SB 1107, that removed the longstanding prohibition on public financing of campaigns at the state and local levels.
Ben authored a law, SB 1108, authorizing local redistricting commissions to make binding recommendations.
California has been plagued by abysmal voter turnout in recent elections. Ben authored a major reform of the way elections are conducted, making them more convenient for today’s busy voters. The measure will enable people to vote at convenient centers located in the community, and it extends in-person voting to the 10 days before election day.
The nonprofit organization Clean Money Campaign rates legislators on their record on campaign reform issues. Ben was the highest scorer in the entire legislature, earning him the group’s “Clean Money Champion” award in 2016.
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