Effort underway to require legislators wear emblems of top donors

The movement to emblazon state legislators with the logos of their donors has collected tens of thousands of signatures for its would-be ballot initiative.

“The measure, formally called the ‘Name All Sponsors California Accountability Reform (or NASCAR. Get it?) Initiative,’ would require all state legislators to wear the emblems or names of their 10 top donors every time they attend an official function,” the Los Angeles Daily News explained. “The measure’s sponsor, Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox, takes delight in the idea and has already done some touring around California with 120 life-size photographic cutouts of politicians dressed up as they might have to under his plan.”

Populists wanted

Cox’s group announced it has already gathered 40,000 signatures out of the 365,880 valid ones necessary to make November’s ballot, telling the Huffington Post they “are confident they can muster enough support.” In an interview with U.S. News, Cox spoke expansively — noting the historically low threshold for signatures based on last election cycle’s low turnout, and banking on a high-energy California electorate in a year when political insurgents have shaken up national politics and captivated Golden State voters:

“Cox says he’s seeking the endorsements of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, both of whom have rallied passionate supporters in part by denouncing their rivals as indentured servants to corporations and other wealthy donors.”

Cox’s grand vision may resonate especially with Sanders, whose fundraising has been driven almost entirely by small donations, and whose digital strategist is a 24-year-old Eagle Scout from California named Kenneth Pennington. (“Pennington began as a press aide to the senator, where he grew accustomed to typing out the Facebook posts that his boss would think of in the shower and dictate once he arrived in the office,” according to the Associated Press.)

Although a somewhat related measure, Prop. 89, previously went down to defeat because voters didn’t want to foot the bill for its public financing regime — which “would also have required every privately financed political ad, whether on television or in newspapers or mailed fliers, to list its three biggest financiers in type as large as the biggest print anywhere else in the ad,” as the Daily News noted, adding that Cox, once a Chicago Republican, has pledged to foot $1 million of the bill for NASCAR.

Dem dollars

In that same 2014 election cycle with historically low turnout, analysts noted that Democrats made out better than Republicans in California, overturning the conventional wisdom that big business interests tip the scales in favor of the GOP. “The biggest donors to statewide races in California for the 2014 election cycle were Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross of California, pulling $23 million and $19 million, respectively,” as Al Jazeera America reported. “For the state races, Democrats actually received almost three times as much ($145 million) as Republicans ($52 million). Much of the health care lobbying was around Proposition 45, which would have required insurance companies to provide public notice when raising rates.”

Despite contempt among some for those perceived to be buying influence, few have raised objections to a twist on the formula. Some high-profile California candidates have begun raffling off perks gained through privileged access in exchange for small donations. Although presidential hopefuls have indulged in the strategy for years, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has gained notice for taking the idea to new heights. Last month, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, he dangled special seats at the Super Bowl before constituents willing to send at least $5 to the gun-control package he has been touting as part of his early-bird run for the governorship.

“This isn’t Newsom’s first venture into online raffles. In May, for example, the former San Francisco mayor offered the chance to win a pair of tickets to a Giants-Dodgers game to people donating to his 2018 campaign for governor. And in October, that $5 contribution could have turned into seats at a private concert by the band Train and the chance to hang out backstage with Newsom, his family and the band.”


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  1. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 19 February, 2016, 11:09

    What a great idea! It goes with what Thomas Jefferson said about politicians: “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.”
    If Trump supports this measure, that would be hilarious. Over the years he has been contributing large sums of money to Democrats, including Ms. Clinton. Should she be elected to the highest office in the land and this measure goes viral, she would have to wear Trump’s name to every important gathering of Who’s Who”s.
    Love it.

    Reply this comment
  2. dc1
    dc1 19 February, 2016, 11:41

    This is moronic, and a waste of time and effort. Also, I see it doesn’t include the public sector donors so on top of it all, the measure wouldn’t even tell any sort of accurate tale. If you want to at least tell the entire story, it needs to include the massive public sector and labor dollars that go into politicians pockets…

    Reply this comment
    • Wyoming
      Wyoming 19 February, 2016, 14:31

      Thank you. Now I don’t have to go into detail why this is a short sighted idea.

      Reply this comment
    • readysetgo
      readysetgo 19 February, 2016, 14:37

      Did you even LOOK at the image with the article? The graphic shows “SEIU” and “CTA” …public sector unions!

      Reply this comment
      • ricky65
        ricky65 20 February, 2016, 09:33

        Yep. If this became law you wouldn’t have to look very hard to spot the union label on these D-Rat, bought and paid for whores.

        Reply this comment
    • Standing Fast
      Standing Fast 19 February, 2016, 15:07

      Oh, that is a good idea!
      Public sector donors include League of Cities, Association of Mayors, California Redevelopment Association…and with public-sector employee unions and private-sector labor donors, the list would be very, very, very long. The politicians might have to start wearing big hats and long capes to accommodate all the emblems.
      Thanks for your post.

      Reply this comment
  3. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 19 February, 2016, 13:44

    Lets see Moonbeam Brown wearing the name tags of his various donners

    Reply this comment
  4. readysetgo
    readysetgo 19 February, 2016, 14:38

    Awesome idea! Well worth the money!

    Reply this comment
  5. readysetgo
    readysetgo 19 February, 2016, 14:49

    Assembly Speaker, Toni Atkins appropriately right out front. She is a TOTAL shill for private sector unions bankrupting the State! Oh and she wants taxpayers to pay for transgender restrooms in all public schools …oh AND she is forcing all of our 11 year-old daughters to get the controversial Meningococcal vaccine because we are all incapable of raising or own children!

    Reply this comment
  6. Desmond
    Desmond 20 February, 2016, 05:55

    Kneepads with the SEIU logo seem so appropriate.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 22 February, 2016, 10:25

    Uly is willing to send you Pack and Ship box identification labels doomers…..

    A true public service community message.

    Reply this comment

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