Friday, August 06, 2004
Following up on Ned's post from yesterday about the role of big donors in ballot initiative campaigns, see this piece here by Channel 10's Marcy Brightwell on record breaking fundraising by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold is raising money at about twice the pace of his predecessor Gray Davis. He defends himself by saying that the money isn't for him, it's for ballot campaigns that he thinks are good for California. But, there are two problems with that answer:
1) It's just as wrong for big donors to dominate the ballot initiative process as it is candidate elections. In fact, California's Fair Political Practices Commission has issued regulations that will go into effect next year applying California's (very high) candidate contribution limits to ballot initiative committees controlled by a candidate. See my June 23rd blog on this topic here.
2) Arnold campaigned for office saying he was going to get big money out of politics. He's done nothing so far on that score, so seeing him instead focus on getting more big money into the process is troubling. Let's hope he remembers why he ran.