A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Big One: 89 deserves a fabulous YES

All 3 of you readers here are probably already aware that I'm a big "fan" of Proposition 89. While there are some really noxious propositions on the ballot, this one is so incredibly valuable, that if it passes, a lot of good will come out of it.

for sale to the highest bidderA previous post here talked about how big business is dropping millions on the ballot initiatives to have things there way. It's clear that when millions are spent on issues and candidates, ordinary people like you and me aren't particularly relevant. Shouldn't we aspire to have a system where big corporations can't just throw millions of dollars (chump change for them) to getting what they want?

Obviously one reform that is needed is for the ballot initiative process; unfortunately the Governator just vetoed a bill that would make signature-collectors be required to show signers where the money comes from. (This was Debra Bowen's bill, another reason why she needs to become our Secretary of State!)

But what we can do right now is pass Proposition 89, which will provide for clean money and public financing of elections. If our leaders are elected without big business pulling their strings, they are not as likely to spend their energy in jumping "how high" for their donors.

I've been following this issue for a while now, back when it was the little assembly bill that could. It has gone through a number of revisions to answer concerns from a number of parties, so it's very solid as it stands. A similar measure has worked very well in Arizona and Maine, where I've heard that elected officials across the political spectrum have expressed relief that they don't need to kowtow to special interests since that wasn't what put them into office!

But wait - do we really want to pay for this with our hard-earned tax dollars? Well, actually, we don't. The corporations get a 0.2 percent tax increase in the corporate tax rate to bring it on-par with the personal tax rate.

Naturally, the big-business-backed Republican party is all against this. The big corporations are all against this. Sadly, some groups such as certain unions and the teachers association are against it, even though other unions and the Nurses association are backing it. The state Democratic Party wouldn't take a position on it due to the conflict within the party, because, the way I see it, certain groups (even if they are liberal) are used to having their money count and their voice heard in the form of dollars. Take that away, and it changes.

What irks me is that groups that we would think would benefit immensely, such as unions and education, don't realize that if this passes, they will benefit in the long run. And they can still raise money and use it for advocacy of issues. Everybody would win.

89 would make California a better place. Please support it and tell your friends.

I leave you with a hilarious YouTube Video, courtesy of 89now.org and/or Clean Money Elections, which just about sums up this year's election. I love it how they've managed to tie in our fatigue with the campaigning....


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