You would think the only election of importance last Tuesday was the one in Santa Clara. Question: would the good voters of that burg approve mega dollars to support the San Francisco 49’rs new stadium? At 11:00 p.m. last Tuesday, every single local news program without exception hung breathlessly on the words of various football and Santa Clara types, agog over the success of the stadium initiative. SFGate.com was equally obsessed with the stadium to the exclusion of virtually everything else.
Interested in the outcome of Proposition 15 supporting public financing of elections? Ha! Even checking the LA Times early Wednesday morning revealed that all articles and political postings had gone to bed at 12:38 a.m. The foundational issue before the voters could wait for daylight. And breakfast. I couldn’t find statewide Prop 15 results until mid-morning. See how your county voted on Prop 15 and the other statewide ballot measures by checking here.
Still depressed about Tuesday’s failure of Proposition 15, I just don’t know what to do next. Meg Whitman spends $85 million to win enough votes to contest the Governor’s job in November. I heard Ms. Whitman go on about the fact that she belongs to the voters, since she paid her own way on to the ticket. Perhaps. Arnold said the same thing. Then, once in office, he made the fundraising rounds. His very own money funding his campaign was a loan to the campaign, of course. I believe it has been repaid. To Arnold, who became bought and paid for. The next time you are up close and personal with Ms. Whitman — if anyone is; she seems to personify the astutely cool media candidate — inquire about her plans to recover those loans she is making to her campaign. Keep an eye out for the generous donors to retire the campaign debts. The vigilant people at OpenSecrets.com make it easy to stay informed and inflamed.
The time is now for public financing of elections. Free Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina and Arnold, for that matter, to divert their monies to truly philanthropic causes, such as education and the arts and the parks and dentists in community free clinics. No doubt the public financing leadership are healing a bit from the effort, before regrouping for another try to achieve elections money can’t buy. I’ll be there. Will you?
In the interim, just tell Ms. Whitman and Ms. Fiorina you would be ever so impressed if each of them capped their fall campaign expenses to the cost of the previous election for their respective races. Mean it. Ask them to donate the cash burning their pockets to something reflective of their personal values. See what they say.
As a calendar note: the League of Women Voters San Francisco is holding its Annual meeting next Saturday, June 19. The meeting will feature a speaker discussing public school financing. Everyone is welcome, at the Mechanics Library, 57 Post Street. Light refreshments are served from 9:30 a.m., with the proceedings getting underway at 10:00 a.m. LLII.
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