FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Thursday, May 21, 1998
Contact: Kim Alexander, 916-325-2120


1996 CVF Pilot Program Led To Last Minute Headlines on Political Money

(Sacramento) Today California Secretary of State Bill Jones unveiled a new feature of their web site, which now includes online disclosure of late contributions and independent expenditure reports.

Statement by Kim Alexander, CVF President, on launch of
1998 State Online Late Contribution Program

"We are thrilled that our demonstration project has been adopted by Secretary of State Bill Jones and codified into law. Thanks to CVF and the Secretary of State, California voters no longer have to wonder who's behind all the large, last minute campaign expenditures. Late contributions typically comprise more than 25 percent of all the money raised in any given election cycle. No longer can those contributors hide behind piles of paper. Disclosing campaign contributions on the Internet gives voters a powerful tool that helps them make more informed choices at election time. We congratulate Secretary of State Bill Jones for his strong leadership in bringing campaign finance data into the digital sunlight."

1996 Grassroots Effort Becomes Law

The program follows "Late Contribution Watch," a highly-acclaimed demonstration project sponsored by the California Voter Foundation (CVF) in 1996. For two weeks during the 1996 General Election, CVF sent a team of researchers equipped with laptops every day to the Secretary of State's office to data-enter the large, last-minute contributions that flood California campaigns in the final days of the election. The data was brought back to the CVF office and uploaded to CVF's 1996 Online Voter Guide. Daily late contribution summaries were also emailed to hundreds of journalists around the state, who otherwise would not have been able to view the late contribution records, which get stacked up in huge binders housed at the Secretary of State's office.

For more information about CVF'S online voter education and digital disclosure work, visit CVF's web site at, or CVF's "Digital Sunlight" web site at Late contribution reports can be found on the Secretary of State's web site at