The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Heather on the Record: In California, the real election is the primary

Photo Illustration by Josephine Newitt

Heather Roegiers
[email protected]

November 6 will see one of the most critical midterm elections in American history. You will want to have been there. But in California, there’s another day that matters even more. In California, the winner of the Democratic Primary will be going on to win the election, and the day to cast that vote is coming June 5.

Removing Trump’s Republican party from power is critical to the future of our democracy, there’s no debate. But the method of removing Trump cannot be the same one that put him in office in the first place. Our democracy’s corrosion created President Trump, and until we plug the holes in our democracy, it doesn’t matter who captains the ship. If we hope to address the crises threatening our world and society, first we must take our power back. We must put an end to Citizen’s United, corporate personhood and the union of money with speech.

If it weren’t for money in politics, we would have already solved global warming, we would have already prevented the next financial crisis, the next mass shooting. If it weren’t for the $13,000 Sacramento’s district attorney took from police unions following the death of Stephon Clark, perhaps we would have already seen the accountability necessary to prevent the next act of police brutality.

The race in California is packed with good people paying excellent lip service, but there’s only one candidate we can trust to address our democracy’s prime obstruction, because there’s only one candidate who has already devoted her life to it. There’s only one candidate we can trust to reign in Trump and Republicans, because there’s only one candidate who not only rejects donations from the people whose taxes Trump just abolished, but also managed to out-raise her competition in the process.
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Photo by Cassandra Hanks

Alison Hartson is a former national director Wolf-PAC, a political action committee with the goal of getting money out of politics. Before Wolf-PAC, she taught high school for 10 years in Garden Grove. Ultimately, her commitment to her students drove her to begin volunteering at Wolf-PAC because she felt that she was failing to serve her students by working through a system that left underprivileged communities with less access to education. Now she’s running for senate to reign in the likes of Betsy Devos.

Billionaire mega-donor Tom Steyer, who you may know from his ad campaign calling for Trump’s impeachment, has recently invested in one of Hartson’s main competitors, Kevin de Leon. As Dianne Feinstein fails to receive endorsements from within her own party, and Hartson struggles to find media outlets willing to cover her, de Leon appears to be the Democratic establishment’s designated appointee. With money’s power over the political system so intractable, it may seem like it’s better to pick a good billionaire’s puppet over a bad billionaire’s puppet. In the voting booth on Nov. 6, by all means choose the lesser evil, but don’t let it be our campaign strategy.

Today, political donations have become their own nomination process. According to Lawrence Lessig of MIT, the number of people who gave the maximum donation of $5,200 to congressional candidates in 2014 made up about 58,000 people, or .02 percent of the population. By ignoring the nomination process, we are granting the very wealthiest people in the country control over our government, which means we are entrusting the task of managing the greatest crises of our era to the people who will be last to feel the consequences.

William “Boss” Tweed once said, “I don’t care who does the electing, as long as I get to do the nominating.” For most of American history, the majority of the population has been left out of this critical process. The general election is the day when we get the opportunity to use our voice, but the nomination process is how we use our voices. Don’t forget to vote.

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    Daniel R TorresMay 3, 2018 at 7:28 am

    This article is spot on. People Over Profit. Policy Over Politics.