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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Peninsula | Government & Elections
Go Granny D! Action to Disclose Corporate Influence in Elections
Corporate money influencing elections is out of sight, but concerned citizens are responding with action to demand greater transparency. "Go, Granny D", a benefit for the DISCLOSE Act and the California Clean Money Campaign, starred Barbara Bates Smith as Granny D, the 90-year-old who walked across the US for campaign finance reform. This one-woman play raised funds for the cause of election transparency on July 21 in Palo Alto.
Music and commentary was provided by Jeff Sebens; the Raging Grannies opened with a ditty appropriately titled "Song of the Fat Cats".
Unlimited anonymous special interest spending is subverting our democracy. In 2010 the top spenders on a TV commercial for proposition 26 were noneother than Chevron, Philip Morris, and Anheuser-Busch. No surprise, that proposition was designed to make it more difficult for the California government to raise fees on corporations. Yet not many people knew that those three big corporations were behind influencing voters.
Since the infamous 2010 Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, our elections have been inundated with secret donations for spending by outside groups on political ads.
In California lawmakers are proposing legislation to force groups to disclose their donors. Senate Bill 52, the California Disclose Act, would require all television, radio, print and other ads for ballot measures, independent expenditures and issue advocacy to identify the three largest donors of $10,000 or more for state races and $2,000 for local races.
In the Unitarian Church where the event was held
Jeff points out where Granny D started her walk across the country for Campaign Finance Reform...Granny D started in California. Granny D is portrayed by Barbara Bates Smith at right in walking gear.