Campaign Finance Reform

If you know my politics this is probably not a surprise, but I strongly favor publicly financed campaigns. Until we get money out of politics, we will never really know what is driving our leaders’ decisions.

Most doctors and nurses want to practice medicine, not fill out insurance reimbursements. Even in this cynical day and age, the same is true for our elected officials. They’d rather be meeting with constituents and writing policy, not calling donors.

I support a Constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United. In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 59, which supported advising the state's elected officials to use their authority to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding Citizens United and to state that political contributions and spending should not be protected as "free speech" under the First Amendment.

Going further, the California Clean Money Campaign’s effort to pass AB249 (the California Disclose Act) in the legislature proved successful and Gov Brown signed it into law in 2017. Letting voters know who is really paying for ads on the ads themselves, listing the top three funders for a ballot measure on those ads, and making sure the rules apply to any form of advertising outreach was a huge step in the right direction. The next step will be to pass SB 47, the Petition DISCLOSE Act, which would require initiative signature gatherers disclose the initiative's top 3 funders before voters sign.

I believe it’s just as important that all Party leaders be required to disclose when they are involved in, or connected to, consultancy work on legislation or ballot measures on which the Party is considering taking a position. That includes partnerships and personal relationships to others who may be currently involved in work that fall under such circumstances. We should not expect anything less than 100 percent transparency from our Party leadership.

Of course, I support the CDP no longer accepting donations from Big Oil, Big Tobacco and the private prison industry; let’s add Big Pharma to the list. The system will not change overnight. But until the leaders in our Party face the problem and start to call for a radical departure of the status quo, that change will never come. Let’s face this head on and send a message that will revive trust in our Party. Let’s choose multitudes of small-dollar donations over the altitude of corporate and ultra-wealthy donors expecting a quid pro quo. Let’s be the change we want to see!