Money, money, money….makes the ballot go round

With the June primary election only three weeks away, it is important to consider the source of the money funding the upcoming campaigns. A great deal of attention has been directed toward the funding sources for the Democratic gubernatorial race — reaching predictably into the multi-millions with Steve Westly again digging into his own very deep pockets to keep his race alive, and Phil Angelides calling on equally wealthy personal friends as well as the normal channels to compete with Westly’s coffers.
While all eyes are focused on this out-sized battle, with mud and allegations beginning to escalate to a potentially damaging fever-pitch, let’s not lose sight of Governor Schwarzenegger’s campaign fundraising while waiting in the wings for the emerging and possibly bloodied Democratic adversary.
Indeed, the Governor is continuing his shameless shake-downs of business interests throughout California and the country. No matter how he tries to spin his “bona fides”, this Governor is the corporate community’s Golden Boy and he’s making sure they pay big-time to keep him driving the Great State of California’s corporate gravy-train. So much so that down-ticket candidates, such as Tony Strickland (engaged in a mutually mud-slinging battle against Abel Maldonado for the Republican nomination for State Controller), have publicly complained that there’s nothing left for them after the Governor sweeps through with his vacuum-cleaner, sucking up all the eager and enormous Big Business campaign bucks.
While putting the finishing touches on our 2006 Primary Election Voter Guide, which will be available soon, we are focusing on Democratic races and who may be carrying the Progressive mantle; predictably, there are no Republicans under consideration in this election cycle. Therefore, we won’t concentrate on the Governor’s unrelenting fundraising activities. Instead, we will provide the best available information on the other side of the ticket for June. But for November, you’ll be amazed to learn how prolific this Governor has been milking his cronies and corporate allies for all the bucks he can squeeze out of them.
In the meantime, the battles for key statewide and legislative races illustrate more than ever that we must get the money out of the system or at least reduce its influence. Regardless of which party or campaign, anyone running to represent THE PEOPLE is discovering that it is either a rich person’s game or a place where principle has been sacrificed for political success. Progressive politics demand reform of the current system. Special interests simply are able to buy too much influence. And by “special,” we don’t mean those whose interests are the public, the environment and the consumer. By providing information, we’ll try to identify some of those players for the progressive voter anxious to move our state forward and bring the power back to THE PEOPLE. We deserve no less.