Corporate influence over our elections has ballooned to out-of-control proportions. Last year, a mere five companies — Uber, Lyft, Postmates, DoorDash, and Instacart — spent $224 million in support of Prop 22, accounting for 28.5-percent of total spending on state-level ballot measures and making Prop 22 the most expensive in California history. When it comes to elected officials, the influence of campaign contributions on policy-making is undeniable. Corporate lobbyists breeze through open doors in Sacramento, call lawmakers on their personal cell numbers, and hold the pen while legislation is drafted. As with the PG&E bailout (AB 33) forcing ratepayers to foot the bill after the utility was sued for negligence, corporations like PG&E get the legislative favors they pay for. Meanwhile, constituents struggle to receive more than a template response assuring them their email is “very important” to their representative.
The California Assembly is now considering Assembly Bill 20, the “Corporate-Free Elections Act” introduced by Assembly Members Alex Lee and Ash Kalra. If passed, AB 20 would prohibit corporations from contributing to candidates running for public office at both the state and local level in California..
We are launching a public pressure campaign to push our legislators to break with the past and support AB 20. Email your state legislators now!