Wednesday, March 09, 2005
**See below for update on Schwarzenegger funding and the Schwarzenegger/CSC lawsuit against the Fair Political Practices Commission**
As Todd Dorman reports in the Missouri Valley Times News, the director of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board recently informed a legislative committee that only 35% of state candidates use Iowa's system of electronic reporting to report who is contributing to them and how much they're contributing.
Instead of filing electronically, which gives the public much quicker access to information about who is funding a candidate, most candidates instead choose to throw all the receipts in the mail, and ship 'em off to Des Moines where state employees are forced to audit and scan the reports before making them available to the public.
Why go the old fashioned route? Well, at least one Iowa pol, state Senator Matt McCoy, says he does it in order to make it harder for his opponent (and presumably interested members of the public as well) to find out details about his campaign fundraising and spending. McCoy apparently feels that he has plenty to hide.
These political considerations result in a fairly strict stance from McCoy on electronic reporting: "I for one will never support mandated electronic filing," he said.
As brazenly self-serving and undemocratic as McCoy's stance on electronic filing might be, it typifies the attitude that many politicians at many levels have towards improving our system of electing our representatives. For example, Senator Mitch McConnell is notorious for having said that no candidate has ever lost a race because of their stance on campaign finance reform.
Self-interested politicians are not the cure to what ails our democracy. We the people must take matters into our own hands and demand change through the initiative process or at the ballot box. If our elected officials insist on being nonrepresentatives, then we the people can gladly oblige and kick the McConnells and McCoys of this world out of office.
Donors: The co-host of Governor Schwarzenegger's recent Cincinnati fundraiser gave $200,000 to the Citizens to Save California committee on the same day as the fundraiser for the Governor. The Governor and CSC are still engaged in their elaborate charade of pretending that the Guv doesn't control the committee. They make this hollow assertion despite the close ties between the CSC board and the Guv, despite the fact that CSC formed specifically to pursue the Guv's agenda, and despite the Guv's bringing in huge donations for CSC.
These donations now include $1.5 million from Univision CEO Jerry Perenchio, $250,000 from financial services company American Sterling Corporation, and now $200,000 from Carl Linder . . . who happens to own another financial services company: American Financial Group.
CSC and Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. the Fair Political Practices Commission: A Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled that the California Public Interest Research Group could not intervene on behalf of the FPPC. CSC and the Governor's lawyers opposed CalPIRG's intervention even though the FPPC had not contested Governor Schwarzenegger's intervention.