Smart Voter
State of California June 2, 1998 Primary

Full Biography for Bill Jones

Candidate for Secretary of State


This information is provided by the candidate

From "Three Strikes" to the Food Safety Act of 1988 to the successful 1991 fight for a fair reapportionment of legislative districts to the recent passage of Proposition 204 to determine the future of our state's water supply, Secretary of State Bill Jones has been leading the fight from the front lines to reform policy that affects the lives of all Californians.

As California's 27th Secretary of State, Bill Jones is continuing his agenda of reform. At the heart of his steadfast commitment are the dual goals he has set for California's elections: 100 percent voter participation by all eligible citizens and a zero-tolerance policy for vote fraud.

As the state's chief elections officer, Secretary Jones has also aggressively implemented significant administrative and legislative reforms to ensure the integrity of California's elections system.

  • An unprecedented number of voter outreach programs benefiting underrepresented communities and age groups to bring them into California's election process
  • A professional voter fraud investigations unit that sends a strong message of deterrence to would-be perpetrators of fraud. More that 140 cases have been referred to district attorneys across the state for prosecution
  • The state's first-ever Elections Summit in 1995, which led to the creation of the first statewide voter file, CALVOTER, linking California's 58 counties and the use of the California driver's license number on voter registration forms
  • Legislation in 1995 to clean the voter rolls of duplicate voters or voters who have died or moved away
  • An enhanced election-night reporting system on the Internet that resulted in more than one million "hits" in 1996

Secretary Jones' reforms also extend to his office's responsibility to implement the Political Reform Act through the filing of campaign financing disclosure documents. To achieve the highest level of public disclosure, Jones chaired a group responsible for designing a working filing system and is leading the charge for legislative approval of electronic filing of campaign contribution and expenditure reports. He has backed up his belief in the public's right to know by instituting new, tougher penalties for candidates, lobbyists and committees failing to meet all disclosure requirements. And to let voters know who the people behind the purse strings are in state politics, Secretary Jones has put the agency's lobbyist directory on the Internet for maximum public access.

A nationally recognized leader of agriculture, trade and water issues, Secretary Jones is utilizing his position as a member for the California World Trade Commission to encourage business development and foreign trade, particularly with Pacific Rim nations.

Jones' commitment to helping companies do business in California can be seen through his efforts to restructure the Business Programs Division -- formerly the Corporations, Uniform Commercial Code, Notary and Limited Partnership Divisions -- through an innovative business improvement plan (BIP) developed with the input and involvement of agency employees. Remarkable benefits of the BIP process to both employees and clients are now in place: previous work backlogs have been slashed; what previously took weeks to process is now done in just days. Most importantly, these improvements continue to be implemented without additional staffing.

A former assemblyman representing Fresno, Secretary Jones earned an admirable reputation for honesty and integrity among the media and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. As Assembly Republican Leader (1990-92), Jones successfully fought for the historic reapportionment of 1992, which returned fair and competitive elections to California and erased the severely gerrymandered district lines that existed previously.

In 1994, Jones received national acclaim when he authored California's immensely popular "Three Strikes and You're Out" law.

The first resident of California's Central San Joaquin Valley to serve in a statewide constitutional office, Jones is a native California rancher who continues to work his family-owned farm in Fresno.

Secretary Jones and his wife of 26 years, Maurine, have two daughters.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 19, 1998 09:50
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