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Clean up the sugar

Posted: January 30, 2010 3:09 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
I am the chair of the Santa Clarita Valley Fair Elections committee, formerly known as SCV Clean Money for Better Government. Recently at a City Council meeting, I addressed my concerns over remarks that Councilman Bob Kellar made at a Minuteman Rally about being a "proud racist."

I share his concerns about our lax immigration system. I do not believe we should have open borders. We should have a well-funded system that actually controls who comes into our country.

But Kellar reminds me of the old lady who came into her kitchen to find a swarm of invading ants. Furious, she stomped on every one of them. The next morning there were even more, and the next even more.

Frustrated, she tried everything - plugging up the holes, putting out traps, spraying - but still they came. Then one day her visiting granddaughter came into the kitchen and said, "Grandma, I think they keep coming because you have sugar on the table."

Kellar is looking the wrong way. He needs to look at who is putting the sugar on the table. The primary reason people risk their lives to come here is for work.

The largest employer is our gigantic agribusiness, that pays our politicians handsomely not to adequately fund our Citizenship and Immigration Services and border patrol system.

Why? Because they want cheap labor and they want to put the subsequent costs of cheap labor onto the public for school, health care, etc. It is a classic example of how they "privatize the profits and socialize the costs."

It's a bargain for corporations to contribute to politicians to make sure they have their ready supply of cheap labor. And they encourage Kellar and groups like the Minutemen to keep their eyes on the ants.

To solve this problem, we must attack the real problem - the hijacking of our democracy by special-interest money, primarily the bankers and big corporations.

Last week, the Supreme Court made a decision to eliminate any restriction on corporate money being used in federal elections. This decision spells the end of our democracy unless we can work quickly to put laws in place that will temper the consequences.

Our campaign finance reform committee has been working on this issue for five years.

I would like to invite the public and the City Council to our next SCV Fair Elections meeting, Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Caruso's (18340 Sierra Highway in Canyon Country), to learn about the California Fair Elections Act proposition for the November ballot, and get involved in cleaning up the sugar on the table.

If passed, anyone wishing to run for the Secretary of State's office can use public campaign financing rather than take money from outside sources or use their own money.

This is a vital piece of the puzzle if we are to temper the influence of gigantic international corporations and banks on our electoral process.

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