Wendy Block: Today I still hate L.A., but two phenomes of hope float above this desert: Eric Garcetti for mayor and Prop. C. Los Angeles city voters are privileged to vote for both this coming Tuesday.
Articles documenting the distortions today's campaign finance system inflicts on the political process
Marian Wang: For months, comedian Stephen Colbert has been taking his satire to the field of campaign finance, highlighting how little-known groups can raise and spend unlimited — and sometimes undisclosed — funds on election ads.
Brad Parker: As President of Valley Democrats United and a board member of the California Clean Money Action Fund, I’m asking you to join our club in considering endorsing an important and exciting campaign finance reform measure on the upcoming March 8th Los Angeles city ballot, Measure H. Measure H is a Fair Elections measure that would rein in pay-to-play politics in Los Angeles. It would prohibit contributions and fundraising by bidders for large city contracts, and punishes violators by banning them from getting city contracts for up to four years.
Wendy Block: I don’t know if the world would improve if women ran it. Our decision-making and problem-solving brain centers are proportionally larger than men’s. Same with emotions, perhaps a mixed blessing. And anxiety tends to lead women to reach out to others, often at their own expense, whereas men generally get all “fight or flight.”
Paul Loeb: It’s been a frustrating time since November 2008, but our challenge is to spend less time bemoaning our disappointments and more energy engaging with ordinary citizens the way so many of us did a year and a half ago. If we give people enough ways to act on our present crises, we never know how history might turn.
Nomiki Konst: The United States of America has a dirty little secret. We’re addicted to a drug. A drug dealt everyday in the halls of Congress, on the streets of Washington, and at the exclusive Georgetown soirees. That drug is corruption, pure and simple. And the dealers are lobbyists. The year 2009 was record breaking for the lobbying industry, mostly due to the health care debate, with total spending on all issues at more than $3.47 billion.
Paul Loeb: Nothing makes us feel more powerless than the corruption of our democracy by money. It undermines progress on every issue we face. If America is ever to deal with our critical problems, we’re going to need to sever the links between wealth and politics, a task made more challenging by the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned a hundred years of precedent to increase still further the influence of companies like Exxon, United Health and Goldman Sachs.
Not only do I expect Chief Justice Roberts to break his promise to the American people and legislate from the bench by overturning McCain-Feingold, but I expect him to work with the other conservatives on the court to overturn any laws that Congress passes in this area.