For the last 20 years or more, I have written extensively about the need for campaign finance reform. During that same period, California has sunk deeper into the swamp and the GOP, who saw no need for such reform, has become irrelevant.
Far be it for me to say I told ya so, but I told ya so.
A campaign contribution from a lobbyist is akin to legal bribery, but it sure doesn’t make it right. Behind every piece of shady legislation, there is a money trail. I’m talking about thousands of bills every year. If you follow the money, you will find a crooked legislator and the entity that bought said legislation. It’s one of these[ open secret] kind of things and brother is California full of them!
We haven’t had meaningful campaign finance reform in California since the days of Jesse Unruh and that’s reaching back into CA politics to the 1970s. Unruh was a democrat and Speaker of the Assembly from 1961-68, but unlike his modern counterparts, he was fairly well reasoned. Back in the 70’s, he called the State’s budget surplus obscene and argued for property cuts which sparked Prop 13.
Why is this subject near and dear to me? Because the political machine runs on money, lots of it. If you want something done you need big money to do it – translated that means you need big money to buy campaign contributions and that in turn buys access to key legislators who will gladly help you for the right amount. But, no money, equals no help.
This is a direct affront to your freedom of speech because your speech carries virtually no weight compared to the special interests and their big money. You and your vote are minimized from taking part in our democracy and that’s about as wrong as it gets. Meanwhile, labor unions, pacts, corporations, and lobbyists have maximum representation.
This is why California is the most corrupt state in the nation. It’s no joke when I say, everything corrupt can eventually be traced back to money, especially in politics where there is virtually a straight line between money and corruption. It’s right in front of us and yet we’ve become so acclimated to the corruption we just shrug our shoulders and yawn. This is the end product produced by over 50 years of neglect and it’s guaranteed to only get worse until it’s reformed by the people because the legislators sure won’t! As Unruh once said, “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”