Since political campaigns are run like NASCAR races, fueled by money from wealthy sponsors, shouldn’t the public be just as aware of who pays candidates as racecar drivers?
So muses Republican Rancho Santa Fe venture capitalist/real estate mogul John Cox. He has proposed a ballot initiative for November 2016, California Is Not for Sale, which would require lawmakers to wear logos of their Top 10 contributors and include them on any advertising.
“We have a system under which people who want something from government fund the campaigns of the people who make those decisions,” Cox told U.S. News and World Reports. “In any other solar system that would be considered corrupt.”
The initiative is a response to the growing role of money in politics unleashed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling. Corporate and private donors can now make enormous contributions to causes and politicians with little accountability. Dark money is coin of the political realm.
Cox is a troublemaker. He is chairman of the Rescue California Foundation and has proposed the “Neighborhood Legislature Reform Act” initiative multiple times. The law would have increased “the size of the Legislature almost 100-fold by dividing current Assembly and Senate districts into neighborhood districts such that each Assemblymember represents about 5,000 persons and each Senator represents about 10,000 persons.”
The result would be about 12,000 elected representatives.” It failed to qualify for the November 2014 ballot but Cox has his eye on 2018.
The Chicago native sought the Republican nomination for president in 2008, but dropped out early in the race. He also ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate and the House.