The Recall's Broken Promise: How Big Money Still Runs California Politics

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9780978640507: The Recall's Broken Promise: How Big Money Still Runs California Politics

GREED * POWER * MONEY * POLITICS Fed up with business as usual, Californians recalled Governor Gray Davis in 2003 and replaced him with a celebrity who pledged to clean up government. The Recall's Broken Promise details how Arnold Schwarzenegger then shattered political fundraising records, attacked campaign finance restrictions, crossed ethical boundaries, and how politicians of both parties have killed needed reforms.

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About the Author:

Derek Cressman is a senior fellow at The Poplar Institute, a think tank devoted to government accountability, and a consultant to good government groups working across the country. From 2003 to 2006, he founded and ran TheRestofUs.org, a nonpartisan watchdog of the role of money in politics that monitored Arnold Schwarzenegger s campaign fundraising more closely than anyone. Cressman is one of the nation's leading experts on applying spending and contribution limits to big money in politics with experience in researching and analyzing data, drafting legislation, creating and implementing strategies to enact reforms into law, defending campaign finance statutes from legal challenge, and enforcing the law. Both the U.S. Senate and federal courts have relied upon Cressman s expert testimony regarding campaign finance reform. He has helped craft campaign finance and ethics ballot initiatives in four states. Cressman has been quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, CNN Headline News, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, San Diego Union Tribune, Orange County Register and numerous other news outlets. His columns about money in politics have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Hill, Minuteman Media, The Oregonian, Albuquerque Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Tompaine.com, and the Washington Times among other publications. Cressman has worked professionally on democracy issues since 1995 when he served as the State Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) Democracy Program Director. With the PIRGs, Cressman helped write and edit many reports on money in politics, including Soft Money Shuffle, Carpetbagger Cash, Pushing the Limit The Impact of Raising Federal Limits on Contributions to Campaigns, Lone Star Election Laws, Look Who s Not Coming to Washington, and Contribution Limits and Competitiveness. In 2005, Cressman authored two reports examining democracy in Ohio, Safe Seats, Dangerous Democracy and Making Safe Seats Safer. He authored sections for the Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court, published by Facts on File (2004) and the Initiative and Referendum Almanac, by Carolina Academic Press (2003). In 2001, Mr. Cressman served as an election observer in Somaliland, Africa, with the Initiative and Referendum Institute. Cressman graduated cum laude from Williams College where he won the Richard M. Krouse prize in political science. After growing up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and residing for five years in Washington, D.C., he now lives with his wife and family in Sacramento, California.

Review:

No wonder Arnold spent all those years in the gym--he knew there'd come a time when he d be lifting all that special interest money in Sacramento! This book lifts the rug in the governor's office to show that Big Money still rules in California politics. --Jim Hightower, author, radio commentator, and publisher of The Hightower Lowdown

The price of power is highest in California, site of the most expensive elections in the nation, where powerful interests have had a stranglehold for decades. So when a former bodybuilder and actor celebrity publicly promised not to become entangled with those special interests, it frankly had a hollow ring. And sure enough, in his first term as governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger was no Terminator when it comes to smarmy insiderism and big money politics as usual. These issues are historic and systemic, as campaign finance expert and nonpartisan reformer Derek Cressman explains in this important book, and he has informed, thoughtful ideas about how citizens can help tame the beast of corruption. --Chuck Lewis, Founder of the Center for Public Integrity

A no-holds barred exposé of how powerful interests use campaign contributions, lavish gifts from lobbyists, and outright deception to take over the government of the world's sixth largest economy. Cressman also points readers to the tools they need to start taking back our government. --Peter Coyote, actor/author

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