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!

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The legislation below was all introduced during the 2013 - 2014 or 2015 - 2016 California legislative session or the 113th or 114th Congress.  All those that were not enacted during their respective sessions have expired. 

California Legislation

  • SB 2 - California The Sunshine Act - Died in Assembly committee
  • SB 27 - Preventing Dark Money Contributions in  Future Campaigns - SIGNED INTO LAW
  • AB 700 - The California Disclose Act 
  • SB 254 - Create a ballot measure whereby the people of California can instruct its USs enators and congressional representatives to pass vote for an amendment stating that money is NOT speech and corporations are NOT persons
  • AB 990 - Bill to require increased disclosure and readability on political mailers - PASSED
  • SB 844 - Elections: Ballot Measure Contributions - SIGNED INTO LAW
  • SB 1253: The Ballot Measure Transparency Act- SIGNED INTO LAW
  • SB 1272: Create a ballot measure calling for amendment to the US Constitution overturning Citizen United PASSED, then the resulting Propositon 49 ORDERED REMOVED from the 2014 ballot by the California Supreme Court.
  • SB 254:  Identical to SB 1272.  Introduced into the Senate in March 2016 after the CA Supreme Court killed SB 1272.

U.S. Legislation

  • AJR 1 - Call for US Constitutional Convention under Article V - PASSED!
  • H.R. 20 - The Government By the People Act
  • H.R. 430 - The US DISCLOSE Act of 2015
  • S.229 - The DISCLOSE Act of 2015
  • S. 1538 - The Fair Elections Now Act of 2015
  • H.R 424 - The Empowering Citizens Act of 2015
  • HJR 48 - Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that the rights extended by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only.
  • HJR 31 - Proposing an amendment to the constitution of the United States that would limit campaign contributions to individuals or public funds and limit the amounts of contributions