October 13, 2011 archive

Oct 13 2011

California OKs Political Donations Via Text Message

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Can approving online poker be far behind? Well, next year maybe.

California became the first state Thursday to allow people to make political campaign contributions via text messages.

“We have an obligation to bring more people into our democratic process,” said Ann Ravel, chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, which approved the change in a 3-to-0 vote. “This is one small step we are taking to allow this to happen and to allow people who can’t go to big fundraisers that are $1,000 a head or more to participate.”

“It’s now up to the industry to implement this and we realize it will take some time before that happens,” she said.

But the wireless industry was not happy with the new regulation, which places no limits on the amount of money a person can contribute via text message.

“We have an obligation to bring more people into our democratic process,” said Ann Ravel, chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, which approved the change in a 3-to-0 vote. “This is one small step we are taking to allow this to happen and to allow people who can’t go to big fundraisers that are $1,000 a head or more to participate.”

“It’s now up to the industry to implement this and we realize it will take some time before that happens,” she said.

But the wireless industry was not happy with the new regulation, which places no limits on the amount of money a person can contribute via text message.

“When we looked at the FEC’s reasoning, we realized we could do it and it was permissible under our laws,” Ravel said in an interview after the meeting.

In its discussion with the California commission, CTIA raised technical and practical concerns.

Specifically, the carriers said it could be a challenge to meet requirements of state and federal election laws, such as providing identifying information about a donor and making sure that donors are not foreign nationals, who are prohibited from making campaign contributions.

California election officials acknowledged there could be logistical problems but emphasized that it is optional for wireless companies to offer text messaging of campaign donations.

While it may be awhile for carriers to offer the service, “campaigns may be ready,” said Ravel. “We talked to some.”

I can see an entire system of abuse here, including foreign nationals gaming the system.

If the amount of money given in this way was limited to say $100 or so,then I think it will meet the intent on soliciting small contributions from many donors. Otherwise, the system will be abused/gamed by the campaigns and there will be rampant corruption.

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Oct 13 2011

CA-30 Rep. Howard Berman Hauls in $819 K in Third Quarter Fundraising

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Rep. Howard Berman

Democratic Rep. Howard Berman is readying himself for a top-two election clash with Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman.

At least four Members of Congress donated money last quarter to Rep. Howard Berman (Calif.), who is running against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman in a redrawn Los Angeles-area district.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) were among his list of contributors, which also included big names in the entertainment industry.

Feinstein and Waxman had already announced they were backing Berman in his high-profile matchup with Sherman in the San Fernando Valley, where the two were both drawn into the 30th district. California Gov. Jerry Brown and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have also publicly backed Berman.

Berman reported raising $819,000 in the third quarter, and he ended September with almost $2.3 million in cash on hand. Sherman has yet to file his third-quarter report with the Federal Election Commission. Reports are due Oct. 15.

Celebrities and Hollywood producers donating to Berman include: Tom Hanks, his wife, Rita Wilson, Rob Reiner, Stephen Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.

I continue to maintain, that Brad Sherman will move over to CA-26, if and when Rep. Elton Gallegly announces his retirement. If not, then he will have to choose Berman or the Republican Gallegly as his opponent.

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Oct 13 2011

California Field Poll Watch: Voters Oppose Changes to Initiative Process

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According to the latest California Field Poll.

  • Majorities of voters reject two other proposed changes to the initiative process.  By a 59% to 33% margin they oppose giving the legislature the right to amend or repeal an initiative four years after its initial approval by voters in an election.

  • They also disapprove 53% to 35% of allowing the legislature to place a companion proposal on the same election ballot after an initiative qualifies, that if approved can amend all or some of the initiative’s provisions.

Very interesting, since this is what the super Legislative majority of California Democrats and their public employee union cronies favor.

Wonder if these proposals will make it to the ballot anytime soon?

The Field Poll is clear on the matter.

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Oct 13 2011

Dilbert October 13, 2011 – Brilliant?

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Dilbert.com

Dilbert by Scott Adams

Brilliant = not so much….
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