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Dan Lungren Attending Billionaire Fundraiser

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has already raised $70 million this cycle for himself and others, will join Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) for a fundraiser on Wednesday at the home of billionaire Tom Siebel.

Still sticking with disclosure?

A few weeks ago during the mark-up in the Committee on House Administration on the Fair Elections Now Act, Rep. Dan Lungren said he was opposed to Fair Elections, but "I would take the limits off individual contributions but make them reportable immediately, electronic reporting within 24 hours of receipt, so that everybody could know where you get the money." (video below)


Perata Pro Quo?

Did California state Senator Don Perata (D) push officials in Oakland to hire a lobbyist who would push for the pet project of a major contributor to Perata? The FBI is investigating what may have been quite an elaborate instance of quid pro quo which the San Francisco Chronicle sums up here.

How Much for a Name?

Christopher Moylan, a city councilman from Sunnyvale California writes this op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News encouraging a public financing option for municipal campaigns to encourage a more diverse field of candidates and surmount the cost barrier to running for office.

Dirty Laundry

How do you circumvent donation limits and exploit a matching donation program to boot? Ask the real estate developers who "launder" contributions to the Los Angeles mayor and city council as explored this report by the local NBC affiliate (transcript and video available).

Bottom of the Heap

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released its list of the 22 most corrupt members of Congress. The third annual iteration of this report, called "Beyond DeLay" includes scandal summaries for each of the 22 members cited (and two more to watch out for). California leads the tally with five members listed but Alaska enjoys the distinction of having its entire congressional delegation on the list. Perhaps they'll get jackets made.

Bad Language

Susan Lerner of the California Clean Money Campaign rightly criticizes the biased ballot language that Sunnyvale, CA city councilors have used to frame the issue of bringing full public financing of elections to the city, in this article by Julie Patel at the San Jose Mercury News.

Another Chance for California

Trent Lange of the California Clean Money Action Fund writes at California Progress Report about the resurgence of AB 583, the California Clean Elections bill sponsored by Assemblymember Loni Hancock which has passed through the Assembly Elections Committee and will now to the Appropriations Committee.


Healthy Dose of Reform

Deborah Burger, President of the California Nurses Association, knows as well as anyone the effects our current campaign finance system has on health care policy: while HMOs write checks up and down Capitol Hill, we watch insurance premiums spike and affordable health care move further and further out of the grasp of ordinary people. That's why she's excited by what the Fair Elections Now Act could mean for comprehensive healthcare reform.


The Voting Class

Steven Hill writes in The San Francisco Chronicle about growing voter disenfranchisement and apathy in California and what can be done about it. In doing so, he says efforts to win full public financing should be abandoned - pointing to the loss of Proposition 89, the Clean Elections ballot initiative, in 2006. But if most eligible adults aren't voting, can you point to an electoral loss as evidence against pursuing full public financing?