For Immediate Release: 4/2/2014
In the wake of today's Supreme Court ruling to further dismantle rules aimed at curbing corruption, California reform leaders are mounting a push to fight back. Secretary of State candidate Derek Cressman has been leading a national movement to overrule the Court by passing a constitutional amendment.
“If money is speech, then speech is no longer free,” said Cressman. “It’s time we push back against a Supreme Court that has overstepped its bounds and condemned us to a culture of corruption,” he added.
State Senators Ted Lieu and Hanna Beth Jackson have introduced SB 1272, which would place the following question in the statewide California ballot:
“Shall the Congress of the United States propose, and the California legislature ratify, an amendment or amendments to the United States Constitution to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and other applicable judicial precedents, to allow the full regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, may express their views to one another, and to make clear that the rights protected by the United States Constitution are the rights of natural persons only?”
While he was a national vice president at the good government organization Common Cause, Cressman led a campaign to pass similar local ballot measures in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and statewide ones in Colorado and Montana. They all passed by margins of three-to-one.
If elected Secretary of State, Cressman has promised to hold a hearing in every congressional district in California to examine whether members of Congress have responded to the wishes of their constituents by supporting a constitutional amendment to overrule the Supreme Court’s actions to open the floodgates to still more money in political campaigns.
Cressman praised Senators Lieu and Jackson for their leadership on the issue. “At a time when three state senators are facing indictments for corruption, perjury, and bribery, it is refreshing to see others taking bold stands to clean up the system,” he said.
For Immediate Release: March 27, 2014
Contact: Naomi Seligman (cell 310.617.4577)
Cressman Says Senate Should Immediately Expel Yee, Calderon, Wright
SACRAMENTO—Secretary of State candidate Derek Cressman called upon the California Senate to immediately vote to permanently expel Senator Leland Yee, who was charged yesterday with corruption including taking official acts on the behalf of campaign donors.
“The Senate needs to take immediate and forceful action to clean its house rather than waiting for ethically bankrupt Senators to resign on their own,” said Cressman. “It is wholly inappropriate to ask those accused of graft and corruption to resign rather than having fellow Senators vote upon their expulsion,” he added.
Cressman had previously called upon the Senate to expel Ron Calderon after corruptions charges against him were made public. Cressman today claimed that Senate leader Darrell Steinberg had erred in allowing Senator Calderon and Senator Wright to request a leave of absence rather than facing expulsion by their peers. “The standard for serving in the California Senate needs to be higher than the standard for staying out of prison,” he said.
"Coming on the heels of the corruption charges of Senator Calderon and the conviction of Senator Wright, today's actions need to be a wake up call. We are clearly beyond the point of looking at one bad apple and instead looking at a corrupt institution in the California senate. The constant begging for campaign cash clearly has a corrosive effect on a person’s soul and the only solution is to get big money out of our politics once and for all.”