18 Fundraisers Today Spotlight Special Interest Political Influence, Need for Prop 89 To End Dirty Money In Politics
Sacramento, CA — A consumer group sold 89Â¢ doughnuts outside a $1500-a-plate fundraiser featuring “a healthy breakfast of Krispy Kremes” for Assemblymember Rick Keene (R-Chico) this morning to highlight the political influence and access bought at these campaign events held when lawmakers have the most leverage over donors — as they take their final votes.
Lobbyists and special interest groups will write checks to politicians at 18 fundraisers scheduled within blocks of the Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday. The crush of fundraisers occurs as legislators decide the fate of 1700 bills pending for the final weeks of the legislative session and showcases the need for the November ballot measure, Prop 89.
“Fundraising while legislating is as bad for democracy as Krispy Kremes are for breakfast. As long as politicians raise campaign cash from big money donors, special access and influence will follow,” said Carmen Balber, consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). “Prop 89 will end politicians’ dependence on special interest campaign contributors by taking political power away from those with the largest checkbooks and returning it to the voters.”
Prop 89 will clamp down on out-of-control fundraising, reduce the political influence of lobbyists and create a voluntary public financing program to get dirty money out of California politics.
The 89Â¢ Krispy Kremes saved $1,499.11 off the minimum ticket for the doughnut fundraiser at The Broiler.
Footage of the doughnut sale will be online later today at http://www.Channel89.org, courtesy of the Channel 89 film crew.
The price of fundraisers on Wednesday range from a minimum contribution of $1,000 to $5,600, and 14 are hosted by sitting members of the legislature.
FTCR announced the “Crashing the Dash for Cash” contest last week, in which it will award a pair of Sacramento Kings tickets to the average citizen who gets into the most fundraisers without paying through the end of the legislative session. For more information on contest rules, and to view footage of contestants, visit www.Channel89.org.
Big money interests have lined up against California consumers on critical policy issues that will pass or fail by August 31, including legislation to provide health insurance to all Californians, address oil company price-gouging at the gas pump, and limit greenhouse gas emissions by manufacturers.
The main provisions of Proposition 89:
– 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% increase in the corporation tax rate from 8.84% to 9.04% — a figure lower than it was from 1980 to 1996.
– Extensive public disclosure requirements and strong enforcement provisions, including removing those who cheat the system from office.
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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) is the state’s leading consumer watchdog group. For more information, visit us on-line at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org