I assume that Dan Walters wrote his article about public employee unions and their political power, before he read Ballot Watch by Dan Smith, in Saturday’s Bee.
Smith’s article listed Who’s Writing Checks – top contributors through Friday (4/9).
Contributions from Businesses, Corporations and Associations - $15.1 million
Citizens to Save California – Business groups supporting Schwarzenegger measures - $3.6 million
PhRMA – Pharmaceutical Industry – restrictions on union dues, opposing drug price caps - $9.7 million
Californians for Fair Districting – supporting the Governor’s proposal - $760,000
Californians for Fair Elections – supporting redistricting measures - $300,000
Californians to Stop Higher Taxes – opposing tax measures, including closing tax loopholes - $400,000
Coalition for Employee Rights – restrict public employee unions from using dues for politics - $375,000
Contributions from Unions - $2.9 million
Alliance for a Better California – opposing the Governor’s initiatives, re-regulation of energy, etc. - $2.6 million
Californians for Tax Fairness – supports measure to increase non-residential property taxes - $250,000
Examination of this report on money and politics, dramatically documents the power of the business and corporate sectors in trying to influence public policy.
The tragedy is that these contributions are transparent - they are published.
The fundamental problem is the corruption of the political process, and the proliferation of ballot initiatives is designed to subvert the legislative process. The initiatives are efforts to bamboozle Californians, under the guise of democracy in action.
There is only one solution, at every level of government – public financing of elections.