Big money rolling in to hot races

We’ve been watching the enormous amount of money being spent by big tobacco, oil and pharmaceutical companies, who have been pulling out all the stops to influence the outcome of the heavily contested California State Senate campaigns we’re highlighting on our Speak Out California’s Primary Voter Guide.
We’ve been talking about the need to get corporate money out of the campaign process to ensure that our elected officials are beholden to the people and not corporate special interests. As proud progressives, we expect our system of government to be “of the people, by the people and for the people.” But in modern-day election battles, in order to make that happen, it’s extremely important to keep following the money – who is supporting which candidate and with what money?
The Sacramento Bee over the last few days has done its best to expose who these groups really are. Their coverage is excellent and worth reading.

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One Step Closer to Restoring Voter Confidence in California’s Voting System!

With a vote of 5-0, Open Source Software for Elections, AB 2097 by Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg passed out of the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee, on Tuesday April, 18. This crucial piece of legislation will require that all technical details, including computer source code (written by software programmers), of computerized vote tabulating systems be publicly disclosed by June 30, 2007.
Why the need for AB 2097? There has been very little testing of current electronic elections systems. Independent testers even with limit access have found serious flaws in the current systems. AB 2097 will allow the public more access to scrutinize elections software and machines. If passed, it will ensure California won’t find itself in legal battles over elections fraud as seen in Ohio and Florida in past elections. This vital piece of legislation will save California from lengthy and expensive legal battles if the results of an election ever challenged.
Please remember to thank these five members that supported AB 2097:
Assemblymember Betty Karnette:
Assembleymember Johan Klehs:
Assemblymember Mark Leno:
Assemblymember Lloyd Levine:
Assemblymember Tom Umberg:
In a surprising change of heart the two Republican members, Assemblymember Mark Wyland and Assemblymember Michael Villines, abstained which indicates growing for support for the measure. Please contact them and urge their support for this important voter protection legislation.
AB 2097 is an important step in securing the validity of California Elections, and allowing the public more access and input of current and continuously evolving voting systems. AB 2097 is now on its way to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Now is the time for people to SPEAKOUT. We will provide you with an action alert as the measure gets closer to a vote in the Assembly Appropriations Committee so that you can let the members of that committee know Californians want a reliable, verifiable, trustworthy, and affordable voting system.
Stay tuned for more to come!