You know I don’t know how I stand on the proposed regulation(s) and I will have to chew on this awhile. I certainly see both sides of this argument and there undoubtedly will have to be a legal analysis completed on whether the California FPPC really has the jurisdiction to regulate this type of speech.
My initial reaction is that the do not have the jurisdiction and FPPC Chairperson Ravel’s approach is an overreach of her and the FPPC’s Constitutional authority. Plus, the campaigns already have the obligation to report expenditures and because they may be hard to ferret out of the mass of data, is that really a blogger’s fault.
And, what about campaign workers tweeting or Facebook statusing a link – how about a photo at a campaign event? Do you have to file a form?
Then, there are the newspapers and their online reporters and columnists?
So, I will reserve FINAL judgment.
As I have never received any payment from a campaign for what I have published on my blog sites, this will have little or no affect on me – at least for now.
I look forward to the discussion of the issue, knowing full well that this will have NO effect on this year’s election and there will be court tests (if the regulation language is adopted) prior to 2014.
The California Proposition 37 media campaign has begun.
From the press release:
The No on 37 campaign today launched its first statewide radio ad which highlights the many flaws and costs of Prop 37. In particular, the radio spot points out that Prop 37 was written by trial lawyers for the benefit of trial lawyers, and that it would add more government bureaucracy and red tape that will increase costs to taxpayers and consumers.
“Proposition 37 is not a simple measure, despite what proponents claim,” said Jamie Johansson, an Oroville farmer who grows olives to make olive oil. Mr. Johansson also is second vice president of the California Farm Bureau Federation.. “It’s a deceptive, special-interest measure that will have far-reaching negative consequences on consumers, taxpayers, farmers, grocers, small businesses and every Californian.”
The Sacramento Bee identified similar problems when it urged a NO vote on Prop. 37 on Sunday, saying, Prop. 37 is “… an overreach, is ambiguous, and would open the way for countless lawsuits against retailers who sell food that might lack the proper labeling.”
“Prop. 37 is about the right to sue,” said Ronald K. Fong, president, California Grocers Association. “And when it is time to sue, grocery retailers will be at the head of the line to get hit with a lawsuit. Lawyers need no proof, no damages prior to filing the lawsuit. H ow is that good policy? Consumers don’t benefit from shakedown lawsuits, the only group Prop. 37 benefits is trial lawyers.”
The radio ad, beginning Monday, will air statewide.
Here is the ad:
The latest polls I saw had Proposition 37 passing by a wide margin, but are California voters apt to vote yes when these ads run?
I am positive in the next few weeks, as early and absentee voting starts in California, the No on Proposition 37 folks will also go on television.
Love it or hate it, the one thing you can say for sure about California’s ballot initiative process is that it’s the absolute worst way to craft policy dealing with complex scientific issues.
That doesn’t stop advocates on one side or another from constantly trying, with the result that the public’s understanding of the underlying facts plummets faster than you can say, well, “Proposition 37.”
Proposition 37 is on November’s ballot. The measure would require some, but not all, food sold in California and produced via genetic engineering to be labeled as such. (There are exemptions for milk, restaurant food and other products.)
Genetic engineering, or genetic modification, which involves manipulating DNA or transferring it from one species to another, is increasingly common in agriculture and food processing, and wouldn’t be banned or even regulated by the measure. Genetic engineering has pluses and minuses. It can increase crop yields and pest resistance. But it can also affect the environment in negative ways — pollen or seeds from genetically engineered crops can be spread by wind, birds or insects to territory where they’re unwanted, for example.
Once you’ve said that, you’ve said pretty much everything that’s known to be relevant to Proposition 37. The rest is baloney, of the non-genetically engineered variety.
It includes more information on the health nut, Dr. Joseph Mercola which is seen on television trying to persuade people to treat cancer with an eggplant extract which he hawks:
More from the Los Angeles Times:
Something else voters should be aware of is who’s backing Proposition 37. The biggest donor is Joseph Mercola, who with his companies has contributed at least $1.1 million so far. The smooth-talking Mercola’s Chicago-area company and clinic make millions from hawking “organic” nostrums and casting doubt on medical science. He’s attracted regulatory warnings from the FDA on three occasions, most recently for touting thermography as an alternative to mammograms for breast-cancer screening. Medical science regards this as dangerous advice because thermograms aren’t effective in identifying many tumors, while early detection via mammograms has saved the lives of millions of women. A Mercola spokesman says he has “worked with the FDA to resolve all concerns.”
Mercola also backs a campaign against child vaccination, and not only promotes sun exposure as a health benefit but also conveniently sells tanning beds and booths on his website for as much as $3,999.
The Proposition 37 campaign manager, Gary Ruskin, disputed the relevance of Mercola’s background to the push for the initiative. “We don’t endorse everything our supporters say,” he told me.
Sorry, that won’t do. Mercola isn’t just any backer of Proposition 37; he’s the biggest donor, and one who has built his business around some of the scare claims inherent in an anti-genetic engineering initiative. Moreover, he didn’t just write a check — he was solicited to contribute in February by Doug Linney, then the initiative’s campaign manager, who could not have been unaware of Mercola’s history.
The campaign’s founding organizer, Ruskin says, is Pamm Larry, 56, a Chico business owner and organic farmer who says she began traveling the state earlier this year on her own to drum up interest in a ballot measure.
Larry has appeared in a promotional video with Mercola and clearly has been deeply influenced by him. “I really admire the man and very much admire his integrity,” she says. She has bought into Mercola’s depiction of the FDA as a wickedly ineffective bully — she praises him for “standing up” to the agency over mammograms — but her grasp of the facts is poor.
“The FDA approved thalidomide!” she informed me during a brief interview, referring to the morning-sickness drug that produced an epidemic of birth defects in the 1950s and 1960s. Well, no. The FDA banned thalidomide, sparing the U.S. from the worst of the disaster. Meanwhile, she seems to think Mercola’s interest in Proposition 37 is entirely altruistic, despite his multimillion-dollar “natural” products empire.
Read all of the rest of the piece and you will agree with me that California Proposition 37 is a shame, devoid of the science that it touts and is just a BAD law.
These are my links for September 13th through September 17th:
Mitt Romney abruptly shifts strategy– Mitt Romney, sensing an opening in the Middle East mess and catching flak from conservatives for giving too little detail about his policy plans, is rolling out a new and broader strategy to make the election a referendum on “status quo versus change,” chief strategist Stuart Stevens told POLITICO.The shift, which is to include much more emphasis on Romney’s policy prescriptions, means he is scrapping the most basic precept of his campaign. From the time he began contemplating running again after his loss in the 2008 primaries, Romney’s theory of the case has been a relentless and nearly exclusive focus on the listless economy.
Daily Number: 79% of Egyptians Have an Unfavorable View of the U.S.– 79% – Most Egyptians Have an Unfavorable View of the U.S.Egyptians express highly negative opinions of the United States and President Barack Obama’s performance in the Pew Global Attitudes Project survey done this spring.Fully 79% say they have an unfavorable view of the U.S., while just 19% offer a favorable one. That is one of the highest unfavorable ratings among the 20 nations in the survey; 86% say this in Jordan and 80% in Pakistan.Most Egyptians also say that the U.S. gives little consideration to their country’s interests when making international policy decisions. Eight-in-ten (80%) say the U.S. considers their interests “not too much” or “not at all.” Again, that is one of the highest among the countries surveyed.About seven-in-ten in Egypt (69%) say they do not have confidence in Obama to do the right thing in world affairs, while 29% express confidence in the U.S. president. That also ranks among the most negative ratings for Obama; 73% say this in Jordan and 68% in Greece
Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled– Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s top strategist, knew his candidate’s convention speech needed a memorable mix of loft and grace if he was going to bound out of Tampa with an authentic chance to win the presidency. So Stevens, bypassing the speechwriting staff at the campaign’s Boston headquarters, assigned the sensitive task of drafting it to Peter Wehner, a veteran of the last three Republican White Houses and one of the party’s smarter wordsmiths.Not a word Wehner wrote was ever spoken.
Swings states remain focus for White House– With just over seven weeks until Election Day, the campaign for the White House has boiled down to just a handful of states and neither campaign is spending time in other places – unless it is to raise money.That was the script followed last week by Mitt Romney, who stopped Thursday and Friday in Virginia and Ohio, sandwiching those events with some fund raising in New York.And that’s exactly what President Obama will do this week – he campaigns on Monday in Ohio, raises money on Tuesday in New York, and makes stops later in the week in Florida and Virginia.When you look at the ten states seen as toss ups right now, the poll averages (as tabulated by Real Clear Politics) are almost all trending in favor of the President (Electoral votes in parentheses):Florida (29) – Obama +1.3%
Ohio (18) – Obama +4.2%
Michigan (16) – Obama +6.3%
North Carolina (15) – Romney +4.8%
Virginia (13) – Obama +0.3%
Wisconsin (10) – Obama +1.4%
Colorado (9) – Obama +3.0%
Nevada (6) – Obama +3.3%
Iowa (6) – Obama +0.2%
New Hampshire (4) – Obama +4.0%
With voting under way, Romney camp faces test from Obama’s ground game– The first votes of the presidential election have already been cast — and in a battleground state.As of Sunday, 602 ballots had been returned by mail to election officials in North Carolina. President Obama won the state narrowly in 2008, becoming the first Democrat to carry it in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter in 1976. It sits near the top of Mitt Romney’s target list this year.By Saturday, almost half the states in the union will be issuing absentee ballots by mail, according to the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College. Among them will be the battleground of Virginia. Yet another key state, Iowa, will allow in-person voting from Sept. 27.
NC Poll Watch: Romney 51% Vs. Obama 45%– Mitt Romney has cleared the 50% mark again in the battleground state of North Carolina despite the presence of the Democratic National Convention there little over a week ago.The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely North Carolina Voters shows Romney with 51% support to President Obama’s 45%. One percent (1%) likes some other candidate in the race, and three percent (3%) are undecided.
Obama Is Too drunk On His Celebrity To Understand The Gravity Of The Attacks On America– So, on a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a U.S. ambassador through the streets. Then the president flies to Vegas for a fundraiser.No, no, a novelist would say; that’s too pat, too neat in its symbolic contrast. Make it Cleveland, or Des Moines.The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation.
Amazon buyers can use 3rd-party sellers to avoid tax– Here’s some good news for California bargain hunters annoyed that they’ll have to pay sales tax on Amazon.com starting Saturday: Many of their purchases won’t be affected.Amazon doesn’t plan to collect tax on anything sold by its vast array of third-party sellers – the thousands of retailers, large and small, that use Amazon’s Internet platform to market their goods.It’s no small change. Third-party sellers accounted for about 40 percent of the goods ordered by Amazon buyers worldwide in the second quarter of this year, said Anne Zybowski, an e-commerce analyst with Kantar Retail consulting in Boston.That’s millions of dollars a year in sales in California alone.The percentage has “really started to creep up,” she said. “It’s pretty big.”
Amazon says its stance is perfectly legal – and consistent with how the company handles third-party sales in the seven other states where it collects sales tax.
Worst of West Nile virus season to come in California– California and parts of the Bay Area are expecting the current West Nile virus season to be the worst in at least five years, with almost twice as many cases of the viral infection in humans so far compared with last year.Contra Costa County officials announced the first Bay Area case on Wednesday, in a woman who was infected in mid-August and is recovering now. With the peak reporting weeks still ahead, five people in the state have died from the virus, including a 74-year-old Placer County man whose death was reported Thursday.Beyond California, the United States is in the grip of what may turn out to be the worst outbreak of West Nile since the virus arrived in the country 13 years ago. Although the national outbreak may have reached its peak, public health authorities say they won’t have full reports on the extent of the epidemic for another few weeks.
Nearly one in four California children in poverty, Census Bureau says– California’s poverty rate was 16.9 percent in 2011, the highest it has been in 15 years, according to numbers released by the US Census Bureau Wednesday.Nearly one in four California children lives in poverty, the report said. More than a third of Californians living below the poverty level are age 18 or younger.The increase in the poverty rate between 2010 and 2011 was not statistically significant, but since 2006, the rate has increased by 4.7 percentage points from 12.2 percent. The last time it was as high as it was in 2011 was 1996, when the state was still recovering from an early 1990s recession and just prior to the high-tech boom that improved economic conditions across the board in California.To be classified as poor in 2011, a family of two adults and two children would have had to make less than $22,811. That is a national figure, and many advocates believe it understates the poverty level in California because of the state’s high cost of living.