“No Corporate Money” vs. Jerry Brown

The year 2013 is beginning, and the new “No Corporate Money” campaign is beginning as well, aiming for the California primary on June 3, 2014. We’re planning to win.

We have not yet decided whether to run a candidate for Governor. Jerry Brown will undoubtedly run and win in 2014. Although many Californians do know the behind-the-scenes Jerry, many do not.

We will run to win in other offices. We will ensure that the people of California can pressure Jerry Brown in a way his cronies never will.

Jerry Brown is the most powerful political figure in California, and it’s hard to even think of who comes in second. If Brown used his power on the side of regular people – the 99% – he would have a much better record than he has. Even his claims of victories ring hollow when you look behind the curtain and see how much better the victories could have been.

The good news is that when you look behind the curtain you also see: people can pressure Jerry Brown!

The Tax-The-Rich movement moved Brown. In 2011 his tax idea was to continue the Schwarzenegger taxes, including a 1 percent sales tax increase among other regressive taxes. In early 2012 Brown’s first tax initiative had a smaller sales tax increase of 1/2 percent and some faintly progressive income tax hikes. By March 2012, Brown was forced to change his initiative, further reducing the sales tax component to 1/4 percent (should have been zero) and proposing somewhat more progressive income tax hikes.

Jerry Brown’s problem with his first tax initiative was that some unions did not toe the line with him, notably the California Federation of Teachers (CFT). They gathered signatures for an opposing tax initiative, the Millionaires Tax, which raised more money, increased income tax rates on brackets over a million dollars, and had no sales tax increase. The CFT was working with the Tax-The-Rich movement that included Occupy activists especially Occupy Education students who had just completed the March 1st to 5th actions across the state; democratize-the-unions activists; organizations like California Calls, ACCE and the Courage Campaign; and independent political parties like the Green Party and Peace and Freedom.

Polls showed that the real Millionaires Tax was beating Jerry Brown’s tax measure. Jerry Brown decided to compromise. He called in the union leaders, weakened their proposal, beefed his up a little, and halved the sales tax increase again, to 1/4 percent. And although it no longer fit for the compromise Proposition 30, he kept the name “Millionaires Tax.”

California can pressure Sacramento by essentially electing the cabinet. The “No Corporate Money” campaign will run candidates in the executive seats around the Governor, especially seats without incumbents: Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Controller. We will run for legislative seats and local offices too.

We want to win; we plan to win, and we can win. California now has a unique chance with the new Top Two primary system. Historically “Top Two” favored incumbents and highly funded (meaning corporate-funded) candidates; ironically it also affords voters an opportunity to crack this system. Any voter can vote for any candidate regardless of political party, and so toss the much-promoted idea of “spoiling elections” out of your head. Your vote for a “No Corporate Money” candidate does not help the candidate you dislike the most.

We – the people – can win.

About Laura Wells: Solutions
I ran for Controller in California in 2014 on a State Bank and Tax The Rich platform. I am part of the “No Corporate Money” Campaign, in which candidates pledge to take no corporate money and voters declare our intention to vote for no-corporate-money candidates. As a Green Party candidate for Governor of California in 2010, I was arrested outside a gubernatorial debate for “trespassing at a private party.” But we won't stop, and so let's create a "public party" where we debate solutions to California's finances, like implementing a State Bank and taxing the rich -- to reduce the disparity and open up opportunities. Twitter: @LauraWellsCA

2 Responses to “No Corporate Money” vs. Jerry Brown

  1. Pingback: Jerry Brown’s Budget: We Can Do Much Better! « Laura Wells Solutions

  2. Pingback: Sacramento Budget Blues: Jerry Brown’s May Revise | Laura Wells Solutions

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