Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Details on Proposition 89

We Have a Crisis of Corruption in Our Government

Lobbyists and special interests contribute millions to politicians who pass their pork barrel projects and tax loopholes – costing taxpayers like you billions.

Prop 89: Politicians Accountable to Voters Instead. Its Three Powerful Components Are:

1) Strict contribution limits

Prop 89 ends the fundraising madness with constitutional limits so regular voters aren’t drowned out by big money.

  • Bans contributions from lobbyists and state contractors
  • Limits contributions from corporations, unions, and individuals to state candidates
  • Limits corporation donations to initiatives to $10,000

2) Clean Money public financing of political campaigns

Prop 89 levels the playing field so new candidates can win on their ideas, not because of the money they raise.

  • Candidates who agree to spending limits and to take no private contributions qualify for public funding
  • $5 contributions from voters required to prove viability
  • Clean candidates receive enough to run competitive campaigns. They can't raise money beyond public funds

3) Tough disclosure and enforcement for politicians

Prop 89 stops candidates from hiding behind negative ads and punishes politicians who violate the law.

  • Makes wealthy self-funded candidates disclose the amount of personal funds they will spend
  • Publicly financed candidates must engage in debates
  • Imposes mandatory jail time and provides for removal from office of candidates who break the law.

Full details about Prop 89

Bottom line:

Prop 89 Makes Elections About Ideas Not Money

That’s why trusted groups representing your interests like AARP California, League of Women Voters of California, California Common Cause, Consumer Federation of California, Sierra Club California, the California Clean Money Campaign, and nearly 300 other organizations support Prop 89.

And why lobbyists and special interests — like big oil, drug companies, insurance firms, HMOs and some unions — don’t.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Get Out the Vote

At this point, one of the most powerful things you can do to help pass Proposition 89 is to use our online tool to email your friends.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Get Out the Vote

Mobilize for Prop 89 This Weekend!
Find a meeting or rally to join this Saturday or Sunday.

Join Your Local Phone Bank!
Join volunteers calling voters and asking them to vote Yes on Prop 89. Free food and likely voters are waiting for you!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Down to the Wire: Help Get Out the Vote!

Clean money activists are joining students, nurses and other community activists to clean up California this weekend!. So whether your bag is walking, talking, singing, standing, eating or sweeping, we have an action for you.

Mobilize for Prop 89 This Weekend!
Find a meeting or rally to join this Saturday or Sunday.

Join Your Local Phone Bank!
Join volunteers calling voters and asking them to vote Yes on Prop 89. Free food and likely voters are waiting for you!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Batman Video

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All politics is money?


Today MAPLight.org, dedicated to illuminating money and politics, announced the results of its new study "Local Politics, Remote Money." According to the study, 78 percent of the money for California legislative races is provided by funders outside legislators' districts.

"It's election season, and California Assemblymembers and Senators are crisscrossing their districts, as they should be, looking for votes. It's just astonishing, then, that a whopping three out of every four dollars in funding comes from out-of- district," said Dan Newman, executive director of MAPLight.org.

The legislator with the highest out-of-district amount was Assemblymember Cindy Montanez from California's 39th District with 99 percent of campaign dollars coming from outside her district.

"Legislators depend on campaign contributions," said Newman. "They seek these funds anywhere they can. When the vast majority is generated from outside the district they represent, the voters -- their constituents -- must wonder if local interests are being trumped by outside interests."

When 99% of the money is coming from out of district, you really have to wonder if the voters are being heard. In California, the difference between being heard or not is how much big money is spent, not whether it is spent. If you aren't contributing piles of money, are you being heard?

Carl Pope on Proposition 89

Check out this new video with Carl Pope:

You can browse all videos at Proposition 89 on YouTube

When money is bidding it is an auction

Malinda Markowitz op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News:

It's time we took California off the auction block and put the voters back in charge.

Wealthy interests write big checks to politicians and get favors in return in the form of corporate tax breaks, pork barrel projects, legislation or regulation and vetoes. Everywhere you look, regular Californians lose. Higher charges at the pump, inflated HMO premiums, contaminated food, rising chronic asthma rates from polluted air, shoddy products, inadequately funded schools because of corporate tax loopholes that divert money that could be used for education.

With Proposition 89, voters can restore balance to our political system. Even critics, such as the Mercury News editorial board, acknowledged that ``the pay-to-play money machine in Sacramento is warping politics, values and public policy.''

Proposition 89 would make politicians work for the voters, not campaign donors. It would reduce how much corporations, unions and individuals could give to candidates, ban contributions from lobbyists, and provide limited public funds to qualified candidates who rejected private contributions. Lawbreakers could be removed from office or jailed.

Proposition 89 also would limit corporations from spending more than $10,000 on initiatives, a provision some, like the Mercury News, dislike. But this election -- already the most expensive in state history -- illustrates why Proposition 89 is needed. Oil and tobacco companies have alone spent about $144 million on just two ballot measures. Last fall, it was drug companies spending $83 million on two initiatives.

The meta-story of California's 2006 election is the record spending, which owns the dynamics of almost every political decision.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Assemblymember Mark Leno on Proposition 89

Ventura County Star

ventura county star The Ventura County Star supports Proposition 89

The Star supports Proposition 89 because we believe it will help control out-of-control campaign fundraising, which taints the Legislature. It also allows more people to run for public office, as has been demonstrated in states such as Maine and Arizona, where similar measures were approved. Among its supporters is the League of Women Voters of California.

Star state bureau chief Timm Herdt captured the scene perfectly in an August article, "Lawmakers rake in end-of-session cash," which described state legislators working overtime raising campaign money just before the legislative season ended, at the time they were voting on hundreds of bills. Most fundraising events were breakfasts, lunches and dinners, attended by contributors with checks for $500, $1,000 or $3,000.

Raising money this way is a fact of life for politicians of all stripes, but it takes away valuable time from legislating and certainly creates the perception that lawmakers are beholden to big donors.

It is a perception, if not a fact, that Proposition 89 would address by changing the way political campaigns for state candidates and state ballots only are funded. [...]

Proposition 89 is needed to end what amounts to legalized bribery in Sacramento. The Star encourages a yes vote.

Last week, Timm Herdt has a great article:

Imagine a world in which politicians didn't have to sweet talk special-interest groups in order to raise money to get elected, in which the support of a waitress would be just as valuable as the support of a CEO or a union president, in which a truck driver would have as good an opportunity to run for political office as a lawyer.

Imagine also a world in which the arrival of campaign season didn't mean that it was time for wave after wave of incessant, insulting and cynical television commercials about ballot propositions, paid for with tens of millions of dollars in big-business contributions.

This is the world envisioned by supporters of Proposition 89, the initiative on the Nov. 7 ballot designed to fundamentally change the way political campaigns are conducted in California.

It proposes to change races for public office by creating a pot of tax money that candidates for state office could tap into if they agreed to reject private campaign contributions, and it proposes to end the ballot proposition wars as we know them by limiting to $10,000 the amount that any corporation could give to an initiative campaign.

Supporters call their plan a cure for corruption.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Election Victory in 2006

Matier and Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Forget ratings -- TV gets huge payoff from elections

When all is said and done, the biggest winner in California's election won't be the Democrats or the Republicans, but TV -- which is expected to rake in an estimated $300 million in political ad sales. [...]

With an estimated $210 million going into the initiative fights -- and deep-pocket clients such as big oil and tobacco ready to shell out whatever it takes -- the sky is the limit.

For example, [Sheri] Sadler recently paid $2,200 for a 30-second Brown ad on the 5 p.m. local newscast in Los Angeles. Had she been buying the same spot for an initiative, the cost would have been $22,000.

"They are just loving it,'' [Paul] Kinney said of the TV stations.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

No on Proposition 89 Ad


"If you are pregnant or nursing, or could become pregnant, are taking any other medications, are ill or could become ill at any point in your life, are in school or could attend school in the future, have a job, pay taxes, live in a home, drive a car, or have friends or family you care about, you should know that voting No on 89 isn't for you. Talk with your family nurse for more information on how Yes on 89 can heal California."