However, when an $11 million check floated down from a hitherto obscure group, “Americans for Responsible Leadership,” (ARL) the source was a complete mystery. The group also was in a fight against Top 2 primaries, and some of the board had GOP connections. But, the source of the money was far from clear. The Fair Political Practices Commission, California's campaign finance regulator, sued for information on where the money came from. ARL fought like the dickens, even taking the court to the United States Supreme Court before reluctantly handing over the information this morning.
Brian Leubitz is the founder and publisher of Calitics.com, the leading progressive California politics blog. Since 2005, he has been writing, commenting, and organizing in the world of California politics.
“In this state, we've come to expect ballot initiatives sponsored by business interests to be, essentially, frauds. But it's hard to conceive how one could be more fraudulent than Proposition 32. If there was any doubt left that the initiative process has been totally corrupted by big business and the wealthy, this should put it to rest for all time.” (LA Times)
At first blush, some would think that Prop 32, the Special Exemptions Act, would be a step in the right direction. That it would somehow reform our broken campaign finance system.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the Special Exemptions Act ends up making the system worse, and more biased against working Californians. It leaves open huge loopholes for Billionaires to spend in SuperPACs and Independent Expenditures(IEs), while stifling the voice of labor and working Californians. It's an unbalanced and unfair measure that would just increase the power of the undisclosed and poorly regulated SuperPACs and IEs and their tea party allies in California.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan spent $29.2mil to win the presidency. The incumbent, Jimmy Carter, spent $29.4mil to lose it.
In 2012, with the nominating convention still two months away, Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate with ambiguous goals has committed, so far, over $35mil to ensure that his voice is millions of times larger than any single everyday voter. Just a few days ago, Adelson committed another $10mil at the Koch Brothers luxury convention.
TV stations shouldn't be bullied by flimsy claims. If Meg Whitman doesn't like the truth, how about she explain what she means? For real this time, not the blather we've heard before.