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Revealed: Donor Backing AAA's SB994 Efforts Funding Effort to Deny Democrats Supermajority
by Steven Maviglio
Wednesday Mar 26th, 2014 11:17 AM
Automobile Club of Southern California's Thomas McKernan Boasts of Targeting Key Democratic Seats in Assembly, Senate
When you think AAA, you think emergency road service and maps for the family vacation (although Garmin and Google Maps have pretty much put an end to that). But in reality, AAA is is an insurance company. Last week, it unveiled legislation, SB 994, billed as the “AAA Insurance Data Grab Bill” by its opponents, that would allow insurance companies to access data from automobiles.

As it turns out, however, AAA is more than just another insurance company with a special interest bill in the Capitol. It is one of the leading financial backers of Republican causes in the state, now focused on denying legislative Democrats supermajority status.

An analysis of donations reported to the California Secretary of State by Thomas McKernan, Chairman of the Board of the Automobile Club of Southern California, finds that he has steered upwards of $2.5 million toward Republican candidates and causes in California during the past decade. He was he was a key funder of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his ballot measures, former chairman of the California Business Roundtable, now serves on the board of the California Chamber of Commerce, and donated heavily to Meg Whitman’s gubernatorial campaign. He also is co-chair of California Forward (although California Forward, which bills itself as non-partisan, has stripped all of his Republican political activities from his bio).
Among his other major donations in the last cycle:
* $25,000 to the No on 30 Committee (the Governor’s tax measure) campaign;
* $25,000 to the Small Business Action Committee (the FPPC fined anti-labor group which supported Prop 32);
* $100,000 to the Yes on 31 campaign (opposed by the California Democratic Party, labor and environmental groups); and
* $35,000 to the California Republican Party (plus another $107,000 in previous cycles).

His current focus? Electing Republicans to the State Senate and Assembly.

McKernan is a major funder and controlling director of the New Majority California PAC, whose website notes is focused on “getting Republicans out of the super-minority in the legislature” and “in late 2013 New Majority endorsed Supervisor Janet Nguyen for State Senate and Young Kim for State Assembly. Both of these are Orange County seats and crucial to Republicans getting out of the super-minority.”

McKernan also contributed $25,000 to the New Majority California PAC last year, which in turn gave a $8,200 to GOP State Senator Andy Vidak, who won a hotly contested special election race last year.

The loss of the Vidak seat, along with the leaves of absence of two other state senators, has left Democrats one seat short of a supermajority in the State Senate.
by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Wednesday Mar 26th, 2014 10:20 PM
Except for the period from 1995 to 1996, the Assembly has been in Democratic hands since the 1970 election (even while the governor's office has gone back and forth between Republicans and Democrats). The Senate has been in Democratic hands continuously since 1970.

What did we get for that?

So far, we have a much larger prison system today than ever.
From 1982 to 2000, California's prison population increased 500%. To accommodate this population growth from the war on drugs, the state of California built 23 new prisons at a cost of 280 million to 350 million dollars apiece. By way of comparison, during the 112-year-long period between 1852 and 1964, the state of California had constructed just 12 prisons.

We also have solitary confinement at Pelican Bay Prison 1580 people, many for decades. And we have the barbaric death penalty, abolished in most of the world, not just in Europe, but also Mexico, South Africa, Ivory Coast.

Meanwhile, we rank about 48th, in the same group as Mississippi and Alabama, in per pupil spending. This writer remembers California schools when they were the best in the nation in the 1950s and 1960s. The excuse for the cutbacks was the loss of property taxes due to 1978's Proposition 13. Those taxes should have been replaced by INCREASING THE TAXES ON THE RICH with the progressive income, but the California Supermajority Legislature refused to do that. Instead, we have an ever increasing regressive sales tax, and all other kinds of regressive taxes such as high parking and traffic fines, admission fees to parks and museums, ever increasing bus and train fares and the like.

San Francisco is suffering from the refusal of the Democratic Supermajority, currently with a Democratic governor, to REPEAL the anti-vacancy control Costa-Hawkins Act and the eviction promotion Ellis Act. That means we have high rents because the landlord can raise the rent to any amount once a tenant moves as there is no vacancy control and landlords are using the Ellis Act to evict tenants who have enjoyed rent control, which takes effect after 1 year or tenancy, to either charge high rents to new tenants or convert the apartments to condominiums and sell each apartment for $500,000 and up.

We also still have nuclear power plants in earthquake prone California, a deadly combination, as we have seen in Japan.

Obamacare is an insurance profiteering scheme that will not provide medical care for millions of uninsured people, and forces people to use a limited number of medical providers. Insurance is not medical care and Obamacare has no cost control so all medical care in this backward country costs a fortune, whether or not you have coverage. Obama is a proud Democrat supported by the California Supermajority Legislature.

This is why we say there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans. If you want free, top quality education from preschool through university instead of prisons, and end to the hate of the state in the form of capital punishment and solitary confinement, legalization of drugs so as to eliminate their street market value and the prison pipeline, serious rent control AND vacancy control for all rental units statewide and the construction of more affordable rental apartments for the workingclass, those of us who sell our labor for less than $80,000 a year, the abolition of nuclear power, replaced with solar, wind and tidal power, socialized medicine paid for with the progressive income tax guaranteeing free medical care to all upon demand from cradle to grave, free and top quality public transportation, and much more, you have to vote Peace & Freedom or Green. It is not enough that you may occasionally vote for their candidates; you must register in either party for them to stay on the ballot after 2014.

You can register online at:

For more information, see: (Cindy Sheehan for Governor Campaign)