DirtyMoneyWatch.org Reveals Calif. Politicians' Dirty Secrets, Shows Need for Prop 89, The Clean Money & Fair Elections Act

By Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights

SANTA MONICA, California - July 19 - The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) today launched a new web site to expose cash register politics in California that the passage of campaign finance reform Proposition 89 will end.

DirtyMoneyWatch.org follows the success of FTCR's Arnoldwatch.org in tracking the hidden hand of special interests in the capitol. The web site looks beyond the Governor's office, however, and offers a landmark solution to the corrosive power of special interests and lobbyists over all of California government - Proposition 89 on the November ballot. Get the RSS Feed at http://www.dirtymoneywatch.org/resources/dmw.xml

"Prop 89 is a recall of politics as usual in California and DirtyMoneyWatch.org is the list of grievances that shows the need for cash register politics' demise," said FTCR President Jamie Court. "DirtyMoneyWatch.org is a chronicle of the chronic corruption of political decisions by campaign cash." The initial weblogs reveal:

-- How Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez received a $50,000 political donation from Blue Cross, entitling the HMO to two world cup tickets, two weeks after Nunez helped the insurer defeat major patients rights legislation on the Assembly floor - see http://www.dirtymoneywatch.org/article/?storyId=788

-- The way in which termed-out leaders of the California Senate have opened 2010 candidate committees to continue shaking down donors for campaign cash - see http://www.dirtymoneywatch.org/article/?storyId=777 - and which other lawmakers have followed their lead - see http://www.dirtymoneywatch.org/article/?storyId=903

-- Why it pays to cheat in Fair Political Practices Commission filings now and pay little fines later -- see http://www.dirtymoneywatch.org/article/?storyId=771

-- How the threat of the prison guard union's $10 million campaign war chest prompted Governor Schwarzenegger to do an about face on prison reform - see http://www.dirtymoneywatch.org/article/?storyId=883

-- Just what perks the life and health insurance lobby bought for lawmakers and their spouses - including golf, spa treatments and in-room movies - at the exclusive Pebble Beach last fall - see http://www.dirtymoneywatch.org/article/?storyId=887

Proposition 89 establishes a system of public financing for candidates who reject private money and sets tougher limits on contributions from corporations, unions and private individuals. It also closes current campaign finance loopholes and strives to reduce the influence of professional lobbyists.

Proposition 89 cleans up the corruption of money in politics to enable elected leaders to focus on the wishes and needs of all its citizens rather than their campaign contributors, and to ensure that elections are about candidates' ideas and not about the amount of money they raise.

A summary of Proposition 89's main provisions:

-- Public funding for candidates who agree not to take private money for their campaigns. To qualify for the funds, candidates must collect a set number of $5 contributions.

-- Participating candidates may receive additional matching funds of up to five times the original amount of funding to compete equally with independent expenditures, or expenditures by wealthy and other privately-funded opponents.

-- Contribution limits that apply across the board to corporations, unions, and individuals: no more than $500 per election cycle to individual legislative candidates, $1,000 for statewide offices, $1,000 to so-called independent expenditure committees, $7,500 to political parties and aggregate total limits of $15,000 per year per donor to all candidates and committees that seek to influence the election of candidates.

-- A ban on contributions to candidates by lobbyists and state contractors.

-- Corporate treasury donations capped at $10,000 per ballot measure. Additional contributions from both unions and corporations on initiatives must be made through political action committees.

-- Funding generated by a 0.2 percent increase in the corporation tax rate from 8.84 percent to 9.04 percent - a figure lower than it was from 1980 to 1996.

-- Extensive public disclosure requirements.

-- Strong enforcement provisions, including removing those who cheat the system from office.


See the article on CommonDreams.org website



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)


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The Real Color of Money

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Public Campaign Statement on Supreme Court's BCRA Decision

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The Hightower Report

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