Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Chamber of Commerce Prez Allan Zaremberg

Allan "secret plan" Zaremberg decided to give even more for people to snicker about out loud. He also decided to whine:

Let's look for a second at Zaremberg's claim about big business not being able to speak politically under Prop 89. Under Prop 89, big corporations could not do two things 1. Purchase politicians 2. Write blank checks from corporate treasuries for ballot initiatives.

#1 True, if a politician accepts public financing from taxpayers, the Chamber could not give that politician a bribe to vote as it wants. And if a company chooses to threaten a publicly funded politician with a big independent expenditure (the silent threat that prevents public officials from voting their hearts) the publicly funded candidate gets more money. But corporations and the chamber can spend unlimited amounts on issue ads. They can fight over the issues on the air, just not threaten candidates directly. Hardly, a termination of the corporation's right to speak to voters.

#2 In the initiative process, under Prop 89, a few big pharmaceutical companies could no longer write unlimited checks totaling $70 million to kill prescription drug reform, as they did with Prop 79 and 80 last year. But, under Prop 89, the CEOs of those companies, investors, and managers can spend as much as they want to advocate for or against ballot measures through political action committees set up by the companies.

Why is Allan Zaremberg whining so loudly?

The hyperbolic fear you hear in Zaremberg's voice comes from the threat of a shakeup to the special interest establishment. Sacramento needs it, and the public wants it.

We all know why special interests fear Proposition 89. We also know that their whines belie their fear of a level playing field.