The city’s supervisory board on Tuesday voted to support California’s Assembly Bill 20, which would expand local law limiting corporate contributions to political campaigns statewide.
Introduced by Assembly Members Alex Lee and Ash Kalra in December, the law would make California the 23rd state to prohibit business entities from directly contributing to political campaigns.
“In a city like San Francisco, the voters have given us such a clear mandate that they don’t want corporate control of city hall, they don’t want corporations directly funding our local elections,” said Tuesday. San Francisco supervisor Dean Preston. “This is not the case in Sacramento, where it is much more controversial to push the idea that we should limit the ability of companies to directly influence and distort our democracy and control candidates.”
Preston, who introduced a board-approved resolution supporting the legislation, said corporate funding may make it harder for first-time candidates to get a fair chance in elections, and that it is difficult for progressive candidates in California who refuse corporate contributions to run.
“While there may be occasional wins, it’s a systemic problem where massive corporate spending directly into these races can really silence progressive voices, voices that take those promises not to take the money.” , did he declare.
Jackie Fielder, former candidate for the State Senate and chief executive of Daybreak, a progressive political action committee, said Californians deserved to be represented without undue corporate influence and referred to the $ 244 million that Rideshare and delivery services spent last year to pass Proposition 22, which allows companies like Uber, Lyft and Doordash to define their workers as independent contractors.
“Make no mistake, business is just going to continue to have a stranglehold on the election if we don’t control it,” Fielder said.
According to California Fair Political Practices Commission, businesses, corporations and corporations belong to the “person” category for authorized sources of contribution. Contributions of up to $ 4,700 are allowed to Senate and Assembly candidates; $ 7,800 to the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Comptroller, Superintendent of Public Education, Commissioner of Insurance and the Council of Equalization Candidates, and $ 31,000 to those who run for governor.
Lee said AB 20 – which does not prevent companies from contributing indirectly through political action committees – is “not a panacea.”
“This is not a silver bullet that will solve all the problems where business has too much influence in our democracy now, but it is important that we cut off as much as possible the sources and channels of influence under our control to make sure our system better reflects people, ”said Lee.
Kalra, who called the bill a first step in the right direction with leeway to do more, suggested a public funding plan for the upcoming elections.
“Let’s start reducing and cutting this corporate influence in our democracy, in our state, in our political system,” Kalra said.
Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Matt Haney also backed the bill at a press conference on Tuesday.
“We got corporate money from the election in San Francisco,” Ronen said. “It’s time to make sure it spreads statewide.”
San Francisco Bay Area News