Through the studio glass: Michael Krasny hosts KQED's daily call-in show "Forum."
Here at KQED, we take elections pretty seriously. It’s a time when our mission of educating the public comes to a head — the messages coming from the campaigns are unrelenting and taken as a whole can present a confusing picture. So helping you cast an informed vote is our aim.
That was the philosophy behind our state proposition guide. Some people, however, prefer listening to reading. For those folks we present a complete archive of Forum’s 2012 state proposition shows. Some are an hour long, some are half an hour, but all present views from both sides and include community input we received via calls, emails, Facebook and Twitter. So sit back, turn up your speakers, and take a listen…
California is not a battleground state for the presidential election, so that leaves plenty of room on the airwaves for other statewide commercials. Friday on The California Report Magazine, host Scott Shafer does some fact-checking with KXTV political reporter John Myers. They started off with commercials for and against Proposition 37, the measure to require labels on genetically modified foods in California.
Robert Graham, a candidate for Arizona Republican Party chairman, heads Americans for Responsible Leadership, a little-known group that delivered $11 million to a committee fighting a tax increase on November’s ballot and supporting a measure that would weaken the political clout of unions. The money will either go toward opposing Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure, or supporting Proposition 32, which would ban the use of payroll-deducted dues for political purposes.
Americans for Responsible Leadership was formed last year by three Arizona businessmen, including Graham. The other directors are Eric Wnuck, who ran an unsuccessful campaign in the Republican primary in a 2010 congressional race, and Steve Nickolas, a bottled water entrepreneur. Continue reading →
Ed Kinchley with San Francisco SEIU Chapter 1021 is working the phone bank to encourage members to vote no on Prop. 32. (Photo: Rachel Dornhelm)
I’m looking squarely at the Capitol building in Sacramento. The grass is manicured and green — the building sparkling white. But to Jake Suski, special interest money in politics keeps the Capitol anything but clean.
“Lawmakers — particularly during legislative seasons — host just a number of fundraisers. I think one day during this August they had 17 different fundraisers in one day,” he tells me.
Suski is the spokesman for Proposition 32. The measure’s backers say they simply want to get rid of special interest money in the Capitol. “Corporate lobbyists ask for their little pet projects to be passed and tell them which bills they don’t like,” Suski says, “and union lobbyists do the same thing on their little pet projects.”
Suski says Prop. 32 would accomplish its goal it in three steps.
Banning unions and corporations from giving directly to politicians
Prohibiting government contractors from political giving
Making it illegal to deduct money from paychecks to use in political campaigns Continue reading →
It’s been on the ballot twice before in the last 14 years — and rejected by voters — but the issue is back again. Proposition 32 would stop unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. The “pro” camp calls this “paycheck protection,” while those opposed say the measure limits union’s ability to fund political campaigns while leaving corporate influence largely unchecked.
This past Friday, KQED’s This Week in Northern California examined the measure. Watch the clip:
This past weekend marked the start of autumn — and the final sprint to the November 6 election. On The California Report Magazine, host Scott Shafer talked to Anthony York, who covers politics for the Los Angeles Times.
Here’s an edited transcript of their conversation:
Proposition 30 is backed by Governor Jerry Brown and would raise taxes to fund education. (Image: California Secretary of State)
SCOTT SHAFER: Let’s talk about the November election. Gov. Brown has a lot riding on the outcome, especially with Proposition 30, which would raise income taxes on the wealthy and sales taxes on all of us. The Governor got mixed news from two polls this week. Tell us what they said.
ANTHONY YORK: They said that just about half of voters are still in favor of the Governor’s plan, Proposition 30, and that there are increasing numbers of voters that are unsure. There’s still a lot of uncertainty in these last six to seven weeks of the campaign.
SHAFER: And at the same time, there’s Proposition 38, which would raise income taxes on everyone — mostly millionares — but everyone would take a little bit of a hit. Opinion polls show there is more of a split, a little bit less support, under 50 percent, for Proposition 38. But does that (Proposition 38) add to confusion for voters? Continue reading →
Proposition 37 would require food labels to indicate genetically modified ingredients. (Judy Baxter: Flickr)
New campaign finance data shows millions of dollars pouring in to fund November ballot battles. In two closely watched issues this election season, the California Teachers Association dumped another $7 million against Proposition 32. It would block unions from using payroll deducted funds for political purposes, among other things.
Food giants ponied up another $3 million to take down Proposition 37, the ballot measure that asks voters to decide if foods with genetically modified ingredients should be labelled. If Prop 37 passes, California would be the first state to require such labels.
In the “no” camp on Prop 37 are people and companies who do not want to label genetically modified foods. They’re spending big — outspending the “yes” camp 10 to one.
Over the last few days companies such as Ocean Spray, Sara Lee, Kraft and Godiva Chocolates have spent big to stop GMO labels from appearing on packages. The “No on 37″ campaign is spreaheaded by biotech giant Monsanto and has raised $28 million so far. “Yes on 37″ which backs labeling is supported by organic food makers among others, it’s raised less than $3 million to date.
For a visual on all campaign spending, visit MapLight. While its numbers are a bit behind the Secretary of State, MapLight has easy-to-read charts.