The LA Progressive is now streaming live!! Don’t miss its weekly broadcast—devoted to progressive politics and social justice.
Tune in Monday, December 7th, at 3 p.m. PST right here for the next installment of “LA Progressive Live!” You’ll find us streaming at www.laprogressive.com—and we’ll archive the 1-hour show.
We'll be talking with Michele Sutter, cofounder of Money Out Voters In, which sponsored California Senate Bill 1272, The Overturn Citizens United Act, through the California legislature. The bill became Proposition 49 and Michele was briefly the Chair of the Yes on Proposition 49 Campaign Committee, before Prop 49 was removed from the ballot by order of the California Supreme Court.
We'll want to ask Michele how that removal came about and what's next for getting money out of politics, here in California and around the nation.
At this point, it isn't so much that our democracy is for sale, but that it's been sold -- lock, stock and barrel.
Big money rules and the 1 percenters call the tune. For example, in the 2012 presidential race, Charles and David Koch -- the infamous Koch Brothers -- spent $4.9 million in disclosed contributions through their political action committee. But they also spent over $407 million on undisclosed campaign funding -- called "dark money."
And they're hardly alone. The California's deep-pocketed health care industry spent $60 million in the most recent election to defeat Prop 46, which would ace increased limits on certain medical malpractice damages from $250,000 set in 1975 to $1.1 million.
Locally, laundry machine tycoon Bill Bloomfield and his wife spent $1.5 million to elect Santa Monica-Malibu school board member Ben Allen to the California State Senate, ahead of Sandra Fluke. Fluke and Allen -- both Democrats -- raised about $1 million outside Bloomfield's largesse, which is rather obviously credited with tipping the scales to Allen.
Whatever you might think of the Koch Brothers, Bill and Susan Bloomfield, Ben Allen, George Soros, or health care industry fatcats, it rings a little hollow for us to tell you to get involved in politics when a very few, extraordinary wealthy individuals can whip out their checkbooks and decide elections. Doesn't it?
Also joining us will be labor organizer Kokayi Kwa Jitahidi, who will update us on the Fight For $15 campaign that has kicked off in LA, designed to raise LA's minimum wage to $15 per hour, guarantee paid sick days, and provide wage theft protection.