Gov. Jerry Brown rejects more disclosure of public officials' finances
Gov. Jerry Brown was sent several bills this year by lawmakers saying they wanted to bring more integrity to elections and government, but the governor used his veto power on some, deciding that they were misguided.
One bill rejected by the governor would have provided the public with a more precise picture of their elected officials' personal finances. Currently, officials file disclosure forms that detail their sources of income and the amounts they receive, but only in broad categories -- the largest of which are "$10,001 to $100,000" and "over $100,000."
The bill by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) would have provided many more ranges on the disclosure forms, including whether an official's income is more than $5 million but not greater than $10 million, or more than $10 million.
In his veto message on AB 2162, Brown wrote: "The law already requires public officials to disclose their income and investments with enough particularity so that conflicts of interest can be identified. I am not convinced that this bill will provide more useful information to the public."
Brown also vetoed AB 145 by Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), which would have prohibited paying voter-registration workers for each person they sign up. Pan was concerned that such bounties could provide an incentive to commit fraud.
"Registration and voting fraud are issues raised not only in California but across the country," Brown wrote in his veto message. "It is fundamental that we encourage both registration and voting to the maximum degree while, at the same time, carefully protecting the integrity of the process."
"Current law provides criminal penalties for voter registration fraud," Brown added. "Without more convincing evidence that per-card incentives hurt the democratic process, I am not prepared to ban them."
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times