In 1980, Ronald Reagan spent $29.2mil to win the presidency. The incumbent, Jimmy Carter, spent $29.4mil to lose it.
In 2012, with the nominating convention still two months away, Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate with ambiguous goals has committed, so far, over $35mil to ensure that his voice is millions of times larger than any single everyday voter. Just a few days ago, Adelson committed another $10mil at the Koch Brothers luxury convention. No matter how committed the volunteer, no matter how many phone calls they make, no matter how many doors they knock, no single volunteer will ever approach the impact that Sheldon Adelson will have simply by writing a check.
And, with a net worth somewhere in the $25 billion range, it is chump change to Adelson. For comparison's sake, it's like you giving a political candidate a hundred dollars. Maybe he'll notice a small dip in his bank account, but it won't affect him. And so, the Super PAC Billionaires get to exert massive influence on our elections.
And yet here in California, the Special Exemptions Act would grant these same Super PAC Billionaires a big ol' pat on the back. The measure crafts out exemptions for some of the biggest businesses and campaign spenders. The measure purports to be an even-handed reform, but instead it protects one side from any change of their big spending ways.
This measure is just far too risky for California. Who knows what kind of disastrous results it could bring? Resurgent anti-environmentalists with corporate polluter money? Anti-public education with for-profit education money? In the end, the Special Exemptions Act would give them a huge leg up in elections, and in the Legislature. You don't need a crystal ball to see that their real agenda goes far beyond November.