Requiring Legislators to wear sponsors’ names is a first step in addressing a serious problem.

Last week, Rescue California Foundation filed an initiative that might generate some smiles but is an entirely serious step in changing the structure of a broken and corrupt legislature election system.

Our initiative, called the Name All Sponsors California Accountability Reform (you can figure out what the acronym relates to) requires all the state legislators elected by California voters to wear stickers representing the top ten contributors to their political war chests.  This will make our leaders look like race car drivers, showing off their sponsors.  One key difference; race car drivers are proud to wear their sponsors names on their clothing – the same is likely not the case with our legislators. They are trying to hide the truth. Our intent is to expose it.

It is long past time to make plain what most people already know – that our legislators work primarily for their contributors, not the people they are supposed to represent.  They may tell us they do what they do for the people  – but we know that, when push comes to shove, they will do what they have to do to raise money or avoid having money spent against them in their campaigns.

They raise that money from special interests – sponsors – who want to influence legislation. Special interest funding is corruption; there is no other way to describe it.  We all pay the price of this corruption.  It is in the taxes we pay; it is in our high utility and energy prices; it is in our high water prices.  It is in an education system that fails its most needy pupils.  The cost of corruption is in our high housing costs and in the roads that have fallen into disrepair.  This corruption is in the debts we are foisting on our children and grandchildren in the form of excessive and unfunded retirement benefits.

We have a state that is hemorrhaging jobs.  We have leaders who tell us we have a balanced budget but conveniently fail to account for the full costs of promised benefits to state workers.  Our Golden State is home to one-third of the welfare cases in the country.  In a state that used to boast free college education, our bloated and unproductive higher education system is becoming more out of reach of average students.

Something has to be done.  We have decided to be the spark that starts the fire.  We aim to focus minds on what this system does and how it can be fixed.  That is why we are pursuing this initiative and hope that all Californians who want a return to a  truly Golden State will join us in this effort to expose the corruption of the current system.