“Stop Special Interest Money Now”: Luncheon Forum (January 20th, 2012)

“Stop Special Interest Money Now”: Luncheon Forum (January 20th, 2012)

Luncheon Forum with Assemblymember of California’s 68th DistrictAllan Mansoor

Assemblyman Mansoor talked about the Stop Special Interest Money Now act as he believes Stop Special Interest Money Now is the fundamental reform that will make all future reforms possible. Assemblyman first identified the problem in three categories;

• California has lost the ability to govern itself because special interests have too much power over government and continuously amass millions of dollars to buy influence with elected leaders.

• California needs deep reforms in education, budgeting, regulations affecting its business climate and much more.

• These reforms are not possible unless we get to the root of the problem—political campaign contributions and the pay-for-play system they fuel.

He said that monstrous sums of special interest money fuel the partisan machines of both Republicans and Democrats while the broad needs of the public and the economy are ignored. He raised the question: If you could do only one of the following two, what would you do: Limit the influence of big corporations or limit the influence of public employee unions? Then he described Californians preferences as corporations and unions are spending millions of dollars to get their way in Sacramento; we need to cut off campaign contributions so politicians will pay attention to the voters instead of catering to special interests, giving the survey facts that 81% Agree, 17% Disagree, 65% Strongly Agree.

As a solution, Assemblyman said SSIM Act will:

1. Ban both corporate and labor union contributions to state and local candidates.

2. Prohibit government contractors from contributing to state and local officials who award them contracts.

3. Bar corporations, government employers, and labor unions from collecting political funds from employees by payroll deduction.

4. Preserves an employee’s right to voluntarily contribute political money by means other than payroll deduction; those contributions must be authorized by the employee annually.

He finished his talk with the following closing statement: SSIM will make politicians accountable for addressing California’s larger challenges. By limiting the influence of special interest money, elected officials will be free to push the narrow agendas of these special interests to the side. SSIM is another step in moving California forward. In recent years Californians have passed fundamental political reforms at the ballot. SSIM is another step in the process toward creating an environment where reforms to education, budgeting, regulation affecting the business climate and more can be addressed.

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