A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The LA Times on Prop 89

Today, the LA Times has published an Op-Ed by Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. An excerpt:
The political finance reforms of Proposition 89 would limit ballot measure contributions by corporate treasuries to $10,000. Corporations account for the vast majority of spending on ballot initiatives, and limiting the biggest spender reduces the overall pot. The other ballot measure spenders — individuals and labor unions — are not restricted under Proposition 89, but they have far fewer resources overall (Bing notwithstanding). What's more, courts have frowned on the limitation of political spending by individuals and their political associations.

Proposition 89's ballot initiative spending limit has been attacked by big corporations as threatening to silence their political speech. In fact, under Proposition 89, corporations could still ask their executives, managers, customers and investors to give unlimited amounts for or against ballot measures.

At the moment, the playing field is sharply tilted toward corporations because of their extreme wealth. ExxonMobil, for example, made more than $8 billion in profit each of the last three quarters. Its chief executive officer took home $400 million in compensation last year, more money than the total revenue of any labor union in the state. Retiring Chief Executive Lee Raymond could still have a significant political effect if he chose to spend his money. But the reality is that individuals are much more likely to write smaller checks.

Proposition 89 would start restoring sanity in political spending, and not just by reforming the financing of ballot measures. It also would provide for public funding for candidates willing to forgo private fundraising from special interests, which is likely to reduce overall candidate advertising.
You can read more on it in this diary over at Daily Kos.

Proposition 89 is a good one. And it is supported by several candidates in California. Among them is Rob Haswell. Here is what Rob had to say in an interview with Turn Tahoe Blue about Prop 89:
You’ve made voting rights one of your main campaign issues. What do you intend to change?

Well, one of my top priorities is public financing for elections and that's why I ardently support Proposition 89. Our election system is the most important facet of our democracy because it is the People’s voice. Currently, we have a system that is heavily favored to the wealthy and the powerful. We need to level the playing field so that regular people can once again run for office. I also believe ardently that we must take great lengths to secure the vote and to count the votes accurately and securely. I'm for open source voting machines that are auditable. To that end, I endorse Debra Bowen for Secretary of State of California. Debra has made election integrity one of her main issues as a state senator.
You can support Rob Haswell's Assembly campaign by contributing to him now!


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