Monday, February 27, 2006

Help us win the BLOGGER WARS!

The blogosphere is a significant communication medium and it is a battle towards dominance of truth or tripe. With your help, we can win the battle! View these sites and participate...
Speak Out is a progressive advocacy group dedicated to helping people in California is better informed about the political and legislative happenings of our state. Their views can be summed up in three phrases: We work for economic fairness, social justice, and equality of opportunity. Every day in the government of this state, there are struggles over these values. They take many forms. It could be a budget battle to protect higher education from further devastating cuts. Or it could be a campaign to increase support of solar energy in new housing. As a member of Speak Out California, you will be informed of these events as they take place, and urged to take actions that will enable you to make a difference.
The most popular of electronic networking and organizing organization is Move On. gives people a voice in shaping the laws & policies that affects lives. You can sign online petitions on timely issues like responding to terrorism, energy policy, and campaign finance reform, or you can just sign up to receive email alerts, all for free.
One of the best things about is that each of us can help decide what issues the organization stands for, using a unique, online discussion forum. Everyone can post suggestions, and everyone can rate all the other suggestions. Those that receive the highest ratings can become the focus of's
action campaigns. Sign up and register with this great electronic grassroots organization!
One of the most popular blogs on the web is one maintained out of Berkeley.  Created by Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga, In its first year, Daily Kos attracted over 1.6 million unique visits and about 3 million page views. It also receives about 20 million visits per month. In the words of the founder “We desperately need to catch the Right in the Blogger Wars, and I am proud of each and every person who has the guts and initiative to start his or her own weblog. The progressive movement of the future will be built, in large part, on this digital foundation.”
Well said Markos I completely agree! supports businesses that share progressive values and ideals. They believe in a triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. uses our power as consumers to vote with wallets, supporting businesses that abide by sustainability, workers' rights, environmental standards, and corporate transparency. At the same time, focuses sharply on businesses that violate the essential values of a sustainable, fair and profitable society through their policies and the politicians they support.

Finally there is
Courage Campaign is a blog that features Alameda County and other statewide authors on current progressive issues. I will be posting on their blog as a regular author.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Watch One of Our State's Most Historic Floor Debates!


Now is the time that we must all rally together! The California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act passed the Assembly floor by a vote of 47-31 on January 30th, the first time a public financing bill had ever passed the Assembly! But our battle is not over... there is still much to be done.

Take a moment to view our website and watch this historic floor debate. This is where it all started and what we will remember for generations to come.

Click Here:

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rockridge Institute - A New Progressive Think Tank


Here is a great column from local columnist Lisa Vorderbrueggen. This article describes the birth of new and exciting progressive think tank -- the Rockridge Institute. Founded by UC Berkeley Linguistics professor George Lakoff, the Rockridge Institute is offering a whole new look at the framing of progressive issues.

Click on the link below to learn how scholars, advocates, legislators and communities are coming together to support a progressive vision -- rethinking and reframing the debate on American democracy.

You can also connect to Rockridge directly at

You can find the article at Contra Costa Times.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"Field Coursing" - Lets Ban It!


In a follow-up story on "field coursing" -- the use of fast-running dogs such as greyhounds to run down jackrabbits in open fields and literally tear them apart -- ABC News clearly shows the gross and inhumane treatment of these poor animals.

Suprisingly, it's actually called a "sport" by some.

"Open field coursing" is even banned in England (where there is a long tradition of using hounds to hunt foxes) because of the obvious cruelty, yet it's happening right here in the Bay Area.

We need to ban it now and I will need your help to do it. Please let me know how you would like to help end this inhumane practice!

View the story by clicking here: ABC NEWS.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

There is a better way...


Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham resigned his office and plead guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for influencing defense contract legislation; money-raising scandals involve San Diego Councilmembers Ralph Inzunza and Michael Zucchet; Jack Abramoff admits to conspiracy to bribe public officials; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his opponents spend over $270 million in last year’s special election; special interest money permeates our entire political system -- and the people who elect us have noticed!

A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found that voters have lost faith in their elected officials. Sixty four percent of California’s likely voters believe that campaign contributions have had a negative effect on public policy decisions made in Sacramento - another 78% say that “the state government is run by a few big interests rather than the benefit of all the people.”

There is a better way.

In Arizona, those same feelings led to a voter revolt. In 1998, Arizona adopted a “Clean Money” system that allows candidates to run for office without taking a single dime of special interest money. Today, Clean Money is used equally by both Democratic and Republican candidates and has the support of reformers ranging from Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano to Republican US Senator John McCain. In a public service announcement Senator McCain declared, “Clean Elections works well to overcome the influence of special interests. It gives Arizonans the power to create good government.”

California now has a historic opportunity to enact a similar reform. Assembly Bill 583, approved by the State Assembly this week, will allow California’s candidates the option of “running Clean.” Freed from endless fundraising, candidates would be able to spend their time talking to voters and focusing on the needs and concerns of the people in their district rather than the contributors to their campaign.

The Clean Money system in Arizona has withstood nine court challenges – it has been upheld to be constitutional. The Clean Money system does not prevent millionaire candidates from running or forbid independent expenditures. Instead, the Clean Money system provides a dollar-for-dollar match to a Clean Money candidate faced with an independent expenditure campaign against them or a millionaire candidate who spends their own money. Matching funds provide a substantial disincentive for independent expenditures to be used at all, or for millionaire candidates to be recruited by the established political parties.

Clean Money opens the door for more politically diverse candidates to run for office. Since Arizona voters adopted Clean Money, the number of candidates in all races has gone up. Many of them say they would never run if Clean Money were not a choice for them. They want to work for the people… not spend their time dialing for dollars.

The success of Arizona’s Clean Money system and its continued support by the citizens of Arizona and both Democrat and Republican candidates speak to what is possible for restoring trust in government at the state level. In California civic organizations such as Common Cause and the League of Woman Voters have joined together to support AB 583 and to enact the Clean Money system to California.

We know the system works because it has already worked for eight years in Arizona. We know the need is great because we see the evidence of corruption and the loss of faith in our democracy.

Ultimately, this is about building the infrastructure of democracy. California needs a Clean Money system to restore the people’s faith in government.

To find out more about Clean Money or AB 583, visit or call 916-319-2014.

Monday, February 06, 2006

We Should Ban it Here Too!

We are already looking into legislation to ban this horrible and inhumane treatment of animals.
ABC News Uncovers Blood Sport In Bay Area
California is known as a very progressive state in terms of animal rights. But the ABC 7 I-Team has uncovered a blood sport underway right here in the Bay Area, that's been banned in England.

See the full story by CLICKING HERE.

Friday, February 03, 2006

SF Chronicle takes stonger position on Clean Money!

The momentum is growing and growing and growing!
A clean-money plan

HERE'S THE latest appalling statistic on money and California politics: More than $300 million was spent on eight initiatives that all failed last November.

It puts a new price tag on political futility, but it makes a bigger point. Elections are way too costly, letting big money take over where public debate should rule.

On the candidate side, money is chasing out competition and deadening voter interest. That's why a public-financing bill that cleared the Assembly holds promise. It seeks to cap runaway spending and equalize campaign budgets among rivals.

The measure, AB583 by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, is on a shakedown cruise with the author's blessing. For now, the bill calls for state financing of as much as $1.5 million if a candidate forgoes the endless check-collecting from special interests who now rule Sacramento.

The Assembly-passed package is a starting point. Hancock expects the state Senate will come up with its variation on public financing before a conference committee of both chambers hammers out a final version to give to the governor. Voters would most likely have final say.

If you don't like the idea of state money for political campaigns, consider who pays for it now. California's statehouse campaigns aren't supported by average citizens writing grocery-bill checks. The money flows from public employee unions, industries and professional groups who all want favors, not tempered policy.

California politics needs lots of reforming. Redrawing political districts to restore competition and tough financial reporting rules are also good ideas. But a workable and fair system of public financing should also be considered to restore voter enthusiasm to a tainted process.

You can see the article in the SF Chronicle and thank them for their support by clicking HERE.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Momentum Is Growing!!!

We are gaining momentum and the move is on! Thanks to your help, we have made a mighty impact and it is only going to grow stronger. Here is an article by George Skelton of the LA Times...
Bill Would Give the Public More Power to Buy Politicians
Legislators adamantly opposed to public financing of political campaigns — mainly conservatives — argued that citizens' liberties would be trampled. Besides, it wouldn't work: There's just no way to keep private money away from public policy.

Liberals decried the special-interest influence on policymaking and warned about the public's increasingly cynical view of politics and government. The solution: an infusion of public money to zap the clout of private investors.

Old stuff, with a new wrinkle: This time, a bill creating virtually a 100% public financing system for state political races was passed by the Assembly on a mostly party-line vote, 48 to 31, and sent to the Senate.

To be sure, this was the equivalent of a grade school "social promotion," where a student is passed and sent to the next higher class without really earning it. Tuesday was the legislative deadline for passing bills from their original house, so some Democrats closed their eyes Monday and waved this measure along, hoping it would just disappear on the south side of the Capitol rotunda.

Still, this was not a meaningless move. It marked a significant step toward urgently needed campaign finance reform — toward the people, rather than the private interests, buying the politicians.

"Everybody's worn out by this incessant fund-raising, the ceaseless dialing for dollars" the bill's author, Assemblywoman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), told me. "Everybody knows that it skews the system. Who do we work for? The people pay our salary. But then we are dependent on special interests to get elected."

Her solution — a product of the California Clean Money Campaign — would be strictly voluntary. Candidates could opt to let the public pay for their campaigns if they agreed to very tight spending limits. There'd be exceptions for candidates being trampled by big-bucks bullies.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking HERE.