Bird's My Word Column
I was surprised to see Times- Standard reporter, Andrew Bird, do a My Word column arguing against Measure T. Seems like kind of an offbeat argument to me, but his point is well made.
His My Word actually got me to thinking about a slightly different subject: Publicly financed elections.
Some nurses union in the state is gathering signatures for an initiative that would provide for publicly funded elections. This, as proponents suggest, would get the money out of politics. I hardly think so.
Sure, it might limit some of the fundraising, but there'll always be ways to get around that, as Bird points out in his commentary.
But who's going to be in charge of these publicly financed elections? Who will decide who qualifies for funding and who doesn't? Bird points out that one of the main players in the hit pieces against Chris Kerrigan was,
"Wayne Ordos, a former executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, or FPPC, the state agency that enforces California campaign law.".
I realize this Ordos fellow was a former ED of the FPPC, but does that mean he was any different kind of person when he was with the FPPC? I doubt it.
Whether the FPPC ends up being in charge of public financed campaigns, or some new agency is established for that function, they'll still be run by the same people that have made the mess of elections we have today.
And for those of you third party folks who complain about the hurdles you face just staying on the ballot now, the same people who make the decisions about ballot access and election law will still be in charge if elections are publicly financed.
You better hope they feel generous in letting you or your party partake of the public funds for your campaign. Remember, when you give government the power to give you everything you want, you're also giving it the power to take it all away.
I'd be very leery of giving government control over the purse strings for campaigns.