Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What Will We Tell the Children?

Steve Lawrence of the AP has a story on Proposition 89. Unless you are a big money special interest, it is clear that the current system is broken. Which gives California two options.

Option 1: We throw our hands up in the air, whine that it is "too complicated" and give up

Option 2: We can research the problem, identify the best solutions found by others facing similiar situations, learn from past experience, and put together sound policy.

To hightlight these two options, compare the message of CTA President Barbara Kerr to others quoted in this story:

Teachers (?)Everyone Else
Barbara Kerr, "It’s too complicated."Chuck Idelson, "This is not some newfangled proposal. It’s based on systems in place and working extremely well in a number of other states and municipalities."
Barbara Kerr, "It’s a flawed proposal."Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, a Los Angeles-based political think tank, "It will allow more people to run who aren’t wealthy and aren’t connected to wealthy special interests. I think it will reduce the impact of special interest money but not eliminate it. ... It would be a major improvement but not the Holy Grail."
Barbara Kerr, "If I had a good idea of what would be the best system, I assure you we would have talked about it and proposed it."A 2005 study by three University of Wisconsin political scientists concluded that public financing can significantly increase the number of candidates running for office and therefore the choices available to voters. [...]

A study released this year by the nonpartisan Institute on Money in State Politics found that Arizona’s public financing system, adopted by voters in 1998, had narrowed the funding gap between challengers and incumbents and drawn an increasing number of participants.

I know special interests will fight to preserve their vested interest, but does any else find it odd that this message is coming from the teachers? "It is too complicated"??? "If I had a good idea..."?????

Like most things, there is a large knowledge-base when it comes to campaign finance reform and clean money. There is information to learn. All it takes is a little research.