In last week’s election, the people of California voted against Proposition 89, which would have limited large campaign contributions.
SF State political science lecturer Ari Laskin said the results show how the corporate world has an affect on politics.
“This just reveals the relationship between legislation and the invisible hand of capitalism,” Laskin said.
Prop. 89 was a proposal that asked Californians whether eligible candidates for state elective offices should receive public campaign funding, that is supported by new taxes on corporations and financial institutions. Also, whether contribution limits be imposed on those candidates who do not receive public campaign funding.
In a 74.4 percent to 25.6 percent vote, Prop. 89 was not passed, which means that there will be no limitation on how much a company can contribute to a campaign. In addition, the tax rate will not change for corporate and financial institution contributions to a candidate’s campaign.
Prop. 89 was a measure to help third party candidates and ensure that they receive equal contributions to their campaigns. But according to arguments against Prop. 89, made by “Californians to Stop 89,” it would have harmed businesses.
According to their rebuttal, “Californians to Stop 89” stated that the proposition was not going to level the playing field for third party candidates, but discriminate against small businesses.
In agreement with the “Californians to Stop 89” argument, Laura McClary, an SF State political science major, said that if the vote had gone in a different direction last night, it still would not have helped a third party candidate.
“It would have been nice if it had passed, but as far as it goes towards making any change, to increase the little guy’s chance, I don’t think it was going to do that,” said McClary, 20, a senior.
The campaign to pass Prop. 89, according to Laskin, was a way to disrupt the stronghold of the two-party system in California. He said the measure should have been passed because campaign contributions could have been regulated, just like it is in his native home of Canada.
“In Canada there is legislation that limits donations to campaigns, and it is effective there,” said Laskin. “To me, corporate donation to campaign funding just seems to be an overt manipulation of public policy, and I can’t believe it is still practiced here.”