The Washington Post recently described Common Cause as usually being “something of a nerd amongst the jocks.” Well, it’s certainly time for the Revenge of the Nerds. We know Citizens United has unleashed a torrent of undisclosed corporate and union spending at the federal level. It overturned a century of laws and decades of legal precedent. Common Cause has decided to do something about it.
We filed a complaint with the Department of Justice asking for an investigation of Justices Thomas and Scalia for attending a strategy session hosted by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch in Rancho Mirage, California, at the same time the Court was considering the case of Citizens United v. FEC in 2008. On top of this, we worked with over 30 organizations to “Uncloak the Kochs” and bring 1,500 protesters to Rancho Mirage for the Koch Brothers annual meeting on January 30, 2011.
In California, the Koch Brothers are responsible for bankrolling Prop 23, crafted to repeal the state’s landmark global warming legislation. Owning so many oil and gas refineries, the Koch Brothers were trying to protect their bottom line. California voters saw this blatant power grab and said no. In Los Angeles, we’re preemptively stopping the Koch Brothers and other special interests from stealing our elections.
We are working to strengthen campaign finance laws to keep special interest money at bay with our support of Measure H, which will do two things:
- Lift the cap on the public finance trust to create a more robust public financing system.
- Ban prospective private companies with pending bids on city contracts from making campaign contributions.
We are pleased to be standing with LA City Council President Eric Garcetti, City Council members Tom LaBonge, Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, Jose Huizar, Bill Rosendahl, the California Clean Money Campaign, the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, Public Campaign, Public Citizen, the William C. Velazquez Institute and others to pass Measure H on March 8.
All politics is local and we believe that if, not when, Los Angeles succeeds in passing Measure H, we will send an important message that we are taking back our democracy. It does not belong to We the special, well-financed interests. Our democracy belongs to We the People.