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Welcome to PACs for Dummies (we’re the dummies).
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to political action committees, or PACs.
Joe Yerardi, a reporter at inewsource, joins San Diego Decides this week for a quick PAC history lesson, including a rundown of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling and other cases that have upended the world of campaign finance in the last few years. He also reviews the basics when it comes to “dark money” and other terms swirling around the mysterious world of campaign finance.
“This stuff is a little hard to wrap your head around,” Yerardi said. “But really it’s extremely important to how this city and this country is governed.”
Hosts Sara Libby and Ry Rivard go from learning about PACs to talking to someone who runs one. Aimee Faucett, COO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, joins the show to discuss the PACs she heads. The Chamber used to keep politics at arm’s length but has significantly ramped up its involvement in local races. Faucett said the Chamber’s goal when it comes to getting involved in politics and elections is to give the local business community a say in how the region is being run.
“In San Diego, we’re tying to be the most business-friendly region in California and with that we need to start helping and supporting campaigns by getting business candidates elected so that we have a voice,” she said.
Faucett also talks about the candidates and issues backed by the chamber, including plans for a convadium, the infrastructure measure called Rebuild San Diego and minimum wage.
Also on this podcast, Libby and Rivard discuss the City Council District 1 candidates and their bootstraps, Bruce Lightner’s weird website problems and more.
There are a few wild ballot proposals that involve campaign finance. One would amend the state Constitution to impose a 1,000 percent sales tax on all political advertising in California. All media spending by all political parties, PACs or candidates would be subject to the tax, and the money would go to public education. Another proposed measure is the brainchild of a local businessman. It’s been dubbed the “NASCAR measure” and would require lawmakers to wear the names of their top 10 donors on their person – as in, they would have to wear pins or stickers with donors’ names. The mock-ups of what that would look like are hilarious.
• Sara Libby’s favorite thing this week is a profile of author Angela Flournoy at BuzzFeed. Flournoy’s book, “The Turner House,” is Libby’s favorite new book.
• Ry Rivard’s favorite thing is The Axe Files, a podcast by David Axelrod, President Obama’s former campaign architect.