Inequality / November 10, 2022
Americans are sick and tired of seeing CEO pay and billionaire wealth in the stratosphere while working families are struggling with soaring costs. This election day, voters in several states used direct democracy to do something about it. They voted to hike taxes on the wealthy, raise wages and build union power, help ordinary people afford basic necessities, and tackle the problem of big money in politics.
Arizona and Oakland Address Dark Money in Elections
As a handful of Americans (individuals and special interests alike) flooded the midterms with untraceable billions, inequality threatened to further distort our democracy. In response, voters rebuked dark money and defended the power of their own ballots.
Arizona voters, for example, overwhelmingly approved Proposition 211, known as the Voters’ Right to Know. The measure will require public disclosure of donors who give over $5,000 to independent campaign expenditures of over $50,000 in statewide campaigns (or half that amount in other campaigns). In an otherwise highly polarized state, Arizonans found common ground through their disdain for dark money and desire for political transparency.
Voters in Oakland, California also opted to require donor disclosure on political ads. The city’s successful Measure W will also restrict former elected officials’ lobbying capacity, cap campaign contributions, and allocate democracy vouchers to local voters, who can then publicly finance candidates at their discretion.