December 10, 2013 2 Comments
A supporter of my California Controller 2014 campaign recently sent me an email that boiled down to the question, “How do we stop fake No Corporate Money candidates?” Here is my answer, followed by the question as he put it in his email.
A working draft of the pledge — and we will finalize it in concert with other allies — addresses PACs:
I, ________________, oppose the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the 1% and their corporations. I pledge to the people of California that as a candidate and an elected official, I will accept money from individual people and public funding only and no corporate money in any form, such as lobbyists, developers, and Political Action Committees (PACs).
From the No Corporate Money (NCM) campaign perspective…
The campaign plans to ensure that listed NCM candidates adhere to the spirit of the pledge. There are a growing number of websites that provide information about campaign contributions. Those websites are great, and what the NCM Campaign intends to do is inspire candidates and voters to ACT on that information, not just KNOW it.
From the corporate perspective…
Corporations do not want to spread the word that no-corporate-money candidates even exist, and so they certainly will not finance NCM campaigns. The NCM name is so blatant that corporations know it undermines their power.
From the candidate perspective…
It’s perfect that last night Eduardo Martinez was at an NCM gathering. He is running for Richmond City Council and one of the stalwarts of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, the organization that has made such a difference to the city of Richmond, CA — as well as the nation and even internationally. Eduardo said now that Gayle McLaughlin (registered Green Party) will be termed out as mayor, other mayoral candidates have come to the RPA for endorsement. When RPA tells them they have to pledge they will take no corporate money the candidates say they don’t understand why they would have to do such a pledge. RPA’s answer is along the lines of, “The fact that you don’t understand is exactly why you won’t get our endorsement.”
I hope this helps. My vision is that at some point it will seem obvious to people. “Well, does the candidate take corporate money? If they do, I know they won’t represent me. If they win, I won’t win.” And people will find out who’s running with no corporate money, and vote for them. And if there is no one, they will run and/or encourage others to run. That’s what the No Corporate Money Campaign is all about.
The following contains the questions and information as emailed to me. Your comments and feedback are also welcome!
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission + Speechnow.org v. FEC,
Corporations can promote (with money) any candidate any amount as long as they don’t coordinate with the candidate . . . or can they? “However, it is legal for candidates and Super PAC managers to discuss campaign strategy and tactics through the media”
Therefore, if “No Corporate Money” looked like a killer issue for the candidate, he/she can claim that they don’t accept corporate donations while being supported with big corporate PAC money. In other words the public won’t know who is getting elected by corporate money and therefore who not to vote for.
I don’t expect the media to help the public figure out who is corporate sponsored as most media is corporate.
I suspect you know all of this but I didn’t see Citizens United or Super Pacs mentioned at:
Have you an answer to the Super Pac issue? I hope so, as I don’t.
<SNIP> Super PACs, officially known as “independent-expenditure only committees,” may not make contributions to candidate campaigns or parties, but may engage in unlimited political spending independently of the campaigns. Unlike traditional PACs, they can raise funds from individuals, corporations, unions, and other groups without any legal limit on donation size.
Super PACs were made possible by two judicial decisions: the aforementioned Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and, two months later, Speechnow.org v. FEC, where the federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that PACs that did not make contributions to candidates, parties, or other PACs could accept unlimited contributions from individuals, unions, and corporations (both for profit and not-for-profit) for the purpose of making independent expenditures. The result of the Citizens United and SpeechNow.org decisions was the rise in 2010 of a new type of political action committee, popularly dubbed the “super PAC”