Media Letters



Letter printed in the Contra Costa Times on May 6, 2014

Corporate owners drive news picks

Why do the mainstream media spend so much time and energy focusing on tragic yet relatively insignificant stories, such as the missing Malaysian airliner and the South Korean ferry disaster?

There are more tragic and significant events like climate change; the expanding wealth gap between the rich and poor; our continuing war in Afghani­stan; our declining education system; the accelerating influ­ence of “big money” in politics; and corporate welfare.

The media should concen­trate on our unfair tax system; the dangers of hydraulic frac­turing (fracking); the dangers of transporting toxic crude oil through our cities; the continu­ing money manipulations on Wall Street; the continued crumbling of our cities and infrastructure; and the covert “free trade” dealings of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Could it be that our main­stream media are owned by large corporations that discourage or censor the re­porting of devastating current events, such as the rapid melt­ing of Greenland, to protect their own self-interests as well as those of their corporate buddies?

Michael Sullivan





Letter printed in the Contra Costa Times on Thursday, April 24, 2014.  The Contra Costa Times is the primary paper for Contra Costa County in California


Are we witnessing democracy’s end?

On April 2, the Supreme Court issued a disastrous deci­sion.

The McCutcheon vs. FEC decision struck down ag­gregate contribution limits for political spending. That means that a single donor could actually give up to $5.9 million per election cycle to support a single candidate through joint fundraising committees and political ac­tion committees.

I’m sick and tired of it, which is why on the day of the decision I joined some like­minded folks at the corner of Main Street and Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Walnut Creek to protest the ruling. We were one of 150 demonstrations in 41 states nationwide with the same message.

It’s time to act. I hope you’ll join me in working for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon, as well as support the Government By the People Act, which puts the power back in the hands of the people with small donor public financing for campaigns.

Sheilah Fish




Letter printed in the Contra Costa Times on February 21, 2014 

Must Support Act Cutting Influence

Earlier this month, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. John Sarbanes introduced the Government By The People Act -- a new campaign finance bill that helps reverse the impact of Citizens United. It had 130 original co-sponsors, and I'm proud to say my representative, George Miller, was one of them.  

To win on any issue -- reforming Wall Street, passing a higher minimum wage or battling corporate pollution -- we need to break the influence of big money in our democracy or we will fail as a democracy, "government of, by and for the people."  This act matches small donations (under $150) with public funds six to 1, so that a $25 contribution turns into $175 or $100 into $700, amplifying the voice of ordinary citizens and saving taxpayers' billions in corporate welfare that results from politics bowing to big-money donors.

I'm thankful Miller took a stand against big money interests in favor of you and me, the ordinary working or retired voter.

Judith A Finch

Walnut Creek



Letter  printed in the Contra Costa Times on November 28, 2013

Must curb power of the big donors

I appreciate the Times Nov. 20 editorial, "Big campaign money flowing to both parties."

It states what many of us believe -- that campaigns relying on big money is no way to run a political system.

Just take one fact of thousands that brings home the message: The average member of Congress spends four out of eight hours of a working day dialing for dollars.

Out of our disgust with the growing power of big money being spent on campaigns and lobbyists, a number of us in the East Bay joined together in February and formed a nonpartisan coalition, $$$ Out! People In!

We currently have 13 member organizations that support our mission: to restore democracy by taking action to diminish the power big money wields over our government, political system and lives.

We invite all nonpartisan groups that support this mission to join the coalition.

Please check us out on our just launched website, We are eager to find a way for you to participate.

Sheilah Fish

Moraga Fish is a coordinator of $$$ Out! People In!

Do you like this page?

What's New:
We are overwhelmed with actions related to Trump.  We have initiated a coalition of groups in Contra Costa County that have sprung up since the election.  It is wonderful and overwhelming.  We are working on the AB14, the Disclose Act and need help getting signatures.  If you can help out email us at  If you would like to hear more about the various groups that have sprung up including Indivisible, off shoots from the Women's March, MoveOn small groups, please contact us about that as well.
Regarding money in politics we plan to do research on how money has affected the various areas that are uppermost with the current administration including: health, immigration, environment and more. We know the obvious but to get it on a two sided page as well as on the website is our goal.


The election is over!!

 We are now connecting with other groups and finding ways to work together.  The energy is amazing.

We recently held a Holiday party that included a video called Demand Democracy that we followed with lively brainstorming.  We'll be following up at our next coordinating meeting about meetings with Sen. Feinstein and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier focused on a detailed agenda.

We are involved with the planning of the Women's March on January 21 to be held at the Civic Center in downtown Walnut Creek.  The event will run from 10:30-1:00 with music, speakers and a march.  Many will then get on BART and go to San Francisco for the San Francisco march that begins at 3:00 pm. Please look here for more information.

Join us and invite your friends. Moneyout People In for more information.

California Legislation

December 2016 - New California DISCLOSE Act, AB 14, was introduced by Co-authors Senators Ben Allen and Jerry Hill.  It is based on final version of AB700, but with just enough amendments to address FPPC concerns.  Much will be the same as last year with the need to get petitions signed.  (See under Petitions below.)

US Legislation


 Have your say.  Be counted. Sign these petitions.  Share them with others.

• New CA DISCLOSE Act petition

• Government By the People Act (HR 20)

• Plus (HJ Res 19)

• Move to Amend - Corporations are NOT People!  Money is NOT Speech

• Create a Petition with

• Add your name to Anti-corruption Act supporters