With the California DISCLOSE Act now sitting on Governor Brown’s desk waiting for a signature, California is poised to strike a major blow against the secret money unleashed by Citizens United.
That should be great news -- except that Governor Brown has vetoed similar campaign finance reform bills in the past. If we don’t speak up, this time might be no different.
Fortunately, the fact that this bill has made it this far shows the power of our voices. Less than a month ago, the calls and emails of thousands of California Legit members helped pass the historic California DISCLOSE Act through both legislative houses.
The deadline for the governor to sign this vital bill is October 15. That’s why we’re asking every Californian who cares about this issue to step up and call Governor Jerry Brown now in support of this bill.
Call (916) 445-2841 today and ask Governor Brown to sign the California DISCLOSE Act and make California the nationwide leader in exposing dark money in elections.Read more
The medical bill score: How the public judges health care
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Donald Trump did something inhumane, cruel, and heartless, calling for an end to the DACA program and throwing the futures of 800,000 young immigrants into uncertainty.
You may be disheartened, frustrated and angry, but one thing you are not is powerless. Join Sea Change this month as we work to help flip the House from red to blue, starting in Congressional District 25. Here’s how you can participate:
Sept. 17 - Join us for a canvass training with OFA. You’ll learn new techniques for engaging voters at the doors.
Sept. 23 - Volunteer for our Day of Action in CD-25. We’ll be knocking on doors and talking to voters about the issues that matter to them.
Sept. 23 - Volunteer to drive canvassers. We’re looking for volunteers to drive our vans and transport canvassers from LA to the Santa Clarita Valley. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
On the 23rd, we’ll be talking to voters about their representative Steve Knight. He has a history of anti-immigrant stances, including voting to deny DREAMers the right to serve in the military, calling public school classes for English learners a burden on the state, and supporting Arizona’s notorious “show me your papers” immigration law. Now, he’ll be one of the people tasked with voting for legislation that determines the future of DREAMers. It’s time for him to go!
Sea Change Team
PS - Can't join us on the 23rd but want to support Sea Change volunteers? Click here to make a donation to support this mobilization.
AB 840 is an election bill before the CA Senate.
IT WAS LETHALLY AMENDED AFTER PASSAGE BY THE ASSEMBLY LAST APRIL 20.
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Voting Rights Task Force (VRTF), Open Ballot Initiative (OBI), Citizens Oversight Project (COPS) and democracy advocates across the California insist the Assembly remand AB 840 from the Senate in order to review the significant change added May 23 without Assembly approval.
Stealth insertion of the May 23 amendment to AB 840 gutted the foundation of California Election Integrity – paper ballots, and 1% random selection of precinct and mail vote batches for hand-audit to verify results. Section 15360 says that the 1% "public manual tally” must include vote by mail ballots. This means all of them, provided that they are postmarked by election day, and arrive by the Friday after the election, as allowed by law.
The authors, Assemblymembers Quirk (D-20) and Obernolte (R-33) were somehow convinced to insert an amendment AFTER Assembly passage. It changes CA Election Code 15360. The added language is below in bold italics:
(1) (A) A public manual tally of the ballots canvassed in the semifinal official canvass, including vote by mail ballots but not including provisional ballots, cast in 1 percent of the precincts chosen at random by the elections official.
They made nearly identical changes in sections (2)(A) and (2)(B).
The key phrase “semifinal official canvass” means the results reported on election night. It includes ballots cast in the precinct, and vote by mail ballots that arrive by election night. It excludes ballots that arrive Wednesday through Friday, and all provisional ballots. Millions of them.
AB 840 reverses the ruling by San Diego. Superior Court Judge Wohlfeil (Lutz v. Vu) that said the 1% audit had to include all mail ballots, not just the ones arriving by election day. Over half of California now votes by mail. Now that election officials won recent legislation that allowed them to shift a county to all vote-by-mail, and to count ballots received up to 3 days after Election Day, the number of excluded ballots could become decisive in determining outcomes. The LA Times reported that on Nov. 10, two days after the election, over 4 million ballots remained uncounted. They were mostly mail and provisional ballots. Legally exempting such large numbers from scrutiny is an invitation to corruption.
The Assembly Elections Committee can cut the section 15360 amendment from the bill and demand that the Senate consider only AB 840 as originally passed by their committee and the full Assembly.
Please write and/or call the members of the Assembly Elections Committee (below). Urge them to revert AB 840 to the original version passed by the Assembly April 20.
Exemptions from California's audit law would send elections backwards in our state.
Marc Berman (Chair): (916) 319-2024
Mathew Harper (Vice Chair): (916) 319-2074
Ian C. Calderon: (916) 319-2057
Evan Low: (916) 319-2028
Kevin Mullin: (916) 319-2022
Jim Patterson: (916) 319-2023
Shirley Weber: (916) 319-2079
You should also write to the committee secretary: Lori.Barber@asm.ca.gov. The subject line should read: AB 840: Cut section 15360.
Tell them that AB 840 was significantly amended after it left the Assembly. To protect our election audits, the Assembly needs to call it back, and cut section 15360 from the bill. All vote by mail ballots must remain part of the 1% audit.
Thank you for all you do.
Mimi Kennedy for
Here's the Dem side the story (from the Fresno Bee):
To recap: Democrat Newman very narrowly won an Orange County-centered state Senate seat last year, one that had been in Republican hands for as long as anyone can remember. After besting the Democratic Party’s preferred candidate in the June primary election, he edged a Republican assemblywoman, Ling Ling Chang, in the November runoff.
Newman’s win embarrassed Republicans and restored the two-thirds Democratic “supermajority” in the Senate. And after Newman voted to raise gasoline taxes for highway maintenance, the GOP launched a drive to recall him, assuming that a special election’s ultra-low voter turnout would make it difficult for Newman to survive.
His vote for the unpopular gas tax was the recall signature drive’s misleading rationale, alleging that he was the decisive factor in approval, even though it was the vote of one Republican senator that actually did the deed. Newman was singled out only because his win last year sealed the Democratic supermajority and his district’s conservative leanings would make him vulnerable.
In brief, Newman did nothing to warrant being recalled[....]
SAN FRANCISCO — Sen. Dianne Feinstein has dominated California politics for more than a quarter of a century. But facing blistering criticism that she’s out of touch with the progressive left following her recent comments about President Donald Trump and DACA, it’s increasingly looking like the Democratic lawmaker will face a major primary challenge if she runs for a fifth full term.
Welcome to the July issue of Mike Bonin's Neighborhoods First newsletter!
IN THIS ISSUE: Mike's second inauguration celebratory tree giveaway kicks off with a great first event, free smoke detectors are distributed in Pacific Palisades, new signs point to Ladera, and early data is made available about the effects of a street safety project in Mar Vista... but first, please read this month's Neighborhoods First Profile about a wonderful South Brentwood neighbor who has made her community better by getting involved.
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by Ted Vaill - Board Member PaliDem Club
After 50 years as a lawyer, dealing largely with complex cases, I have become adept at parsing through facts and coming up with a “theory of the case”: a storyline that explains what happened. I am not always right, but I have found that I am usually right. So here is my storyline as to how Trumputin (as I call him) became entwined with Putin and his Russian thugs and won the 2016 American Presidential election…
What Probably Happened
In the mid-1990s, Trumputin’s business operations were bankrupt, largely because of his bad bets on Atlantic City casinos, and no banks would loan him money for his future operations. So he shifted his business operations to licensing his name to various business ventures, taking a licensing fee and putting no money into the ventures. Ten years later, his business was again basically solvent, but the banks still would not touch him, except for some sketchy ones, like Deutsche Bank, which specialized in money laundering for Russian oligarchs, and other similar sleazy characters, like those operating the Bank of Cyprus. read more
Read more ....
"I thought this was interesting, especially with regards to the decline of political parties as a moderating force." Nora Hazi
Twenty years ago, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria wrote an essay in Foreign Affairs titled “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy.” His thesis was that democracies around the world were surrendering to illiberal reforms, and that the strands holding the traditions of democracy and liberalism together were rapidly eroding.
“From Peru to the Palestinian Authority, from Sierra Leone to Slovakia, from Pakistan to the Philippines,” he wrote, “we see the rise of a disturbing phenomenon in international life — illiberal democracy.”
Zakaria’s piece made an important distinction between democracy and liberalism, constructs that are often conflated. Democracy is a process for choosing leaders; it’s about popular participation. To say that a state is democratic is to say little about how it is actually governed. read more