VIDEO: Panetta comments on balancing money’s role in politics

150 150 Ed Coghlan

Former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta talks about the concern in California about the role of money in politics here.

Californians don’t expect public officials to be perfect, but they do expect those officials to remember who they work for. As such, the recent legal troubles of three sitting California state Senators has caught the people’s attention and shaken their confidence. 

When California Forward conducted a recent survey on our ideas to restore trust in government, it asked an open ended question: What else do you feel is necessary for achieving this goal?

Over 400 individuals offered their ideas. Their number one concern? The sheer amount of money in politics and the influence it buys. One suggestion in particular is worth repeating. 

“…those elected should wear suits like NASCAR showing who their sponsors are..”

Former Defense Secretary (and founding co-chair of California Forward) Leon E. Panetta shares Californians’ concerns about the role that money plays in the political process and in shaping public policy. He sat down recently with current CA Fwd co-chair Lenny Mendonca and defined the problem and offered some solutions.

In the CA Fwd survey, the question about Cal-ACCESS generated support (83 percent in favor) for finally overhauling the state’s antiquated campaign finance and lobbying database. Clearly Californians are chomping at the bit for easier access to information on who is donating what to whom in Sacramento.


Ed Coghlan

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