Archive for DISCLOSE Act

"That all Dems in the Assembly support state Disclose Act, & [nearly] all Republicans oppose it: One of biggest disclosures of all."

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Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Private money, public campaigns

Re "Evil lurks in 'super PACs,' " Column, Feb. 29

Kudos, once again, to Steve Lopez for illuminating important societal issues that need remedying. Hardly a week goes by without a story about the corrupting influence of money in politics. It's time to make the financing of campaigns an imperative of public policy and not of private gain.

We must abolish the private financing of campaigns. The electronic and print media must be mandated, as a price for their licenses, to give a public platform to competing candidates and issues. By so doing, candidates and issues could not be bought.

Jack Salem

Los Angeles

***

I've been a believer in full public financing of campaigns for more than 20 years. Ours is the only democracy held hostage by legalized bribery, but citizens are not only waking up, they're fed up. Until we can get private money out of politics, exposing whose money is behind political ads is definitely the next best thing.

In 2010, California voters sent both Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Mercury Insurance packing. Each had spent millions of dollars sponsoring deceptive ballot measures, and voters found out who was behind them.

To me, that all Democrats in the Assembly support the state Disclose Act — and that all Republicans except Nathan Fletcher of San Diego oppose it — is one of the biggest disclosures of all.

Tobi Dragert

Los Angeles

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"Evil lurks in Super PACs"

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An unexpected effect of super PACs on the GOP primary race is that the candidates are not only raising less money than their own political action groups, they’re also unable to control their own PACs’ messages. Or to put it another way, it backfired on them.

And thanks to super PACS, an entire election can now be influenced by one sugar daddy (or mommy), as the GOP has been proving in this year's primary.

The Citizens United decision has been disastrous for our democracy, but Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote, “Independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption… The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.”

Um...not so much, Justice K.

Steve Lopez's column in the L.A. Times takes it from here. Please read the whole thing, because I'm chopping it to bits:

Do you know what a Super Political Action Committee is? It's a slap in your face. [...]

We can thank a sadly misguided U.S. Supreme Court decision for this wink-and-nod arrangement, which has already brought us a flood of attack ads and obscene distortions that dumb down national discourse and give any clown with a billionaire friend a fighting chance. [...]

Assemblyman Don Wagner (R-Irvine) ... quoted the U.S. Supreme Court, saying "Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority."

Hogwash. How about the tyranny of cynical forces who want to keep voters in the dark? [...]

"When we hide" the source of money, [ Republican Nathan Fletcher] said, "we're saying it improperly influences us." [...]

One of the more compelling arguments in favor of disclosure is a simple question, and it can be addressed to both legislators and campaign donors: What do they have to hide?

Lopez was presenting strong arguments in favor of the California DISCLOSE Act (AB 1148), "so that if voters feel like they're getting mugged, they can at least identify the suspects, whether they're corporations, public employee unions or individuals."

It's certainly a step in the right direction, but if it wins, we would still have a long way to go and a huge fight on our hands. And a whole lot of us are ready for just that.

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VIDEO- Nancy Pelosi: Stop Colbert! "He's been using his Super PAC to attack my friend, Newt Gingrich."

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"He doesn't even like kittens!"

"Colbert must be stopped!"

Su. Perb.

:

In a first step to reform the money in politics, House Democrats are reintroducing the DISCLOSE Act today to get unlimited, secret donations out of politics. The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates to unrestricted special interest campaign donations in American elections—permitting corporations to spend unlimited funds, directly or through third parties and Political Action Committees organized for those purposes, to influence Federal elections and opened the door for the emergence of Super PACs.

Learn more at http://www.facebook.com/StopColbert

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