David Curtis meets with Evan Goldberg, Chief Deputy to Secretary of State Bowen on July 24th, 2013 in Sacramento. The following are David's (not verbatim) notes from the meeting:
DC asks EG what he thinks of online voting, and if it might become an option at some point?
EG does not support online voting, says it is subject to hacking.
DC asks why in theory can’t people vote via smartphone and generate a receipt? People bank online, why can't they pick a, b or c candidate on a smartphone?
EG says it is against state statute to have a receipt for a vote.
EG discusses the SOS priorities for the next 18 months and beyond:
Voter Database upgrade
Campaign finance database upgrade
Online business filing upgrade
DC There is a need for the market driven forces on the election process to be somehow neutralized into a public process.
DC asks about the concept of using special elections to roll out/test reforms like public financing.
EG says the state statutes bar public funding of elections.
EG suggests that such reforms can be implemented at local level elections.
DC discusses the problem of privatized debates, asks if the SOS has discretion to set policy that debates be public and require invitation to all balloted candidates.
EG says debates are not required by state statute.
DC describes the dynamic of private debates where private security is excluding some candidates and even detaining them. DC gives the example of the 2010 NV Gubernatorial race where a TV debate was held at a private school, only two candidates were included and five minor candidates had to resort to setting up a secondary debate outdoors.
EG points out that it is unlikely there will be TV debates in the Sec of State’s race.
DC discusses the price point problem of legislative races in CA, how it takes $1,000,000 to run for state legislature. DC asks if the SOS would be supportive of making the districts smaller, having more seats in the legislature. EG says it is a legislative issue, but supports it in theory.
DC asks if SOS has discretion to pull business licenses of companies that misbehave.
EG says SOS would need to make a compelling case to the AG.
DC asks EG if he would be running for SOS. EG says he will not be running for SOS.
EG has no plans yet beyond the remaining months of completing his work with SOS.
DC asks EG if the office has seen an abnormal amount of lawsuits compared to other times.
EG says that the lawsuits are not triggered by SOS not following statutes but rather more local conditions.
DC suggests they are chain reactions to conditions.
DC discusses how the top two primary has scrubbed all the minor parties off the general election, and the current process is pay-to-play, the candidate having the most corporate donor money advancing to the general election.
DC discusses how his goal is to have more democracy and a better process, ideally where each balloted candidate gets the same public funding, same air time, equal presentation.
EG offers to have follow up meetings if DC has further questions.
"Thanks for sticking around, I am the closing act...tonight. Thanks everyone for being here.
I'm David Curtis and I’m a dad, primarily, to three children...and a Green Party candidate for Sec. of State in California.
I've been gearing up for this about a year now, we've done advance work for a year, with about 75 people for the initial team, California is a big state, you've probably noticed...40 million of us, 39 million plus.
(So) I have a msg for you tonight, the Green Party is (basically) an act of defiance, at this point.
Defiance of a government that isn't doing what we want. Big money stole our government. Big money runs the elections. Big money selects candidates who serve big money agenda-- not the will of Californians.
Big money prevents democracy. We don't have democracy. Californians are shut out of the decision making process. Our representatives don’t represent us.
The results are: a corporate takeover of California, an endless drug war, fracking, nuclear power accidents, GMO frankenfood and fake democracy.
Corporations that break the law and endanger human life will not see their business licenses renewed by my office.
We can end the drug war. Police are arresting non-violent drug users who then face mandatory sentences and our tax dollars get burned on more prison planet. Meanwhile tv shows you ads for the latest anti-depression drugs, and that is ok, somehow. It’s time to end the classist, racist, and FAILING drug war and focus on the real criminals, the corporate criminals!
...and how about our water supply? I keep hearing about Washington's "all of the above" energy plans, well...fracking poisons our drinking water. The companies doing fracking won't even tell us all the ingredients they are injecting into our ground water. Perhaps you have seen video of folks holding a match to their kitchen faucet and the water catching flame. (and we're supposed to be drinking that stuff) that is why I will revoke the licenses of businesses that engage in fracking.
"Thanks" to multiple radioactive leaks at Fukushima (that we've seen on internet leaks, you know, (if) nowhere else, fortunately we have whistleblowers around) and the recent closure of San Onofre after spending 400 million dollars on faulty replacement designs, nuclear power is done. As Secretary of State, I will suspend the state licenses of companies that engage in any aspect of nuclear power generation and transmission.
And what about GMOs? We tried to label them recently and somehow as voters in a free society we aren't even able to label our products anymore. Labeling GMOs is not enough. Let’s suspend the state licenses of Monsanto and other GMO hucksters. (people are kind of asleep about the Sec. of State's role, but the Sec. of State issues all the state licenses and decides who gets to renew those licenses. So it's a powerful point position for that. Let's just suspend their licenses) GMOs are not safe, Don’t let Monsanto shovel their frankenfoods down our children’s throats.
California needs the precautionary principle-- businesses must prove their services and products are SAFE! I will not let Monsanto, PG&E, the fossil fuel industries and other corporate crooks use our kids as science experiments.
I will do more than just crack down on how many business licenses are issued to corporate crooks. I will reboot California’s democracy by reducing the influence of those same corporate crooks in our government.
Who here has $1.5 million to run for State Assembly? Anybody? (I don't want to point anybody out but, most of us don't) Californians LITERALLY cannot afford to have our government run this way. (We can't afford it)
Candidates funded by the corporate elite gives us a government that serves-- (only) the corporate elite.
I’m going to end the era of Big Money’s control over California’s elections. The pay to play system must go. I will enact a Public Campaign Financing System like the states of Maine and Arizona have already done.
If we want a government that serves the public, we need candidates who are publicly funded. It’s as simple as that.
California has the biggest legislative districts in the United States. Our State Senators represent more people than our US Congressional reps. There are only 80 State Reps, and only 40 State Senators for nearly 40 million of us. We need smaller districts for more accountable representation, (for functional representation. That is what government is supposed to be)
We're kept out at every point. We are kept out of the private debates. The debates have been made into private events.
If we send our candidates to debates they get arrested & chained to chairs for hours, we're excluded from TV, we're cut off.
Debates must include all candidates on the ballot. Candidates deserve equal airtime, and it’s not just in the debates that the diversity of viewpoints are absent, the legislature must be a truly representative body. If a party can get 3% of the vote, they deserve 3% of the seats!
Our top two primary needlessly reduces voter choice. They are trying to predict the outcome of our democracy for us.
I would not only advocate for the repeal of the top-two primary, I would use special elections as a proving ground to move forward on ALL these much-needed election reforms: Instant Runoff Voting, Public Financing, Proportional Representation and abandoning the top two primary.
We can do all of this and more, but I need your help. You can sign up to join the campaign on these signup sheets, and please give generously- we don’t have any PACs or corporations funding this campaign!
I have to reach 1.5 million of you and it's really hard to do that when I'm not sponsored by Monsanto or GE or something...it's hard to do that, but I'm going to do it regardless...it is an act of defiance.
Again, please give generously, we don’t have any PACs or corporations funding this campaign
That's what distinguishes the Green Party, and what validates what we are doing, we don't take that corporate money.
That is (a) core difference, we don't take that money. We're all grown ups here, with money comes strings, they are told what to do with that money. We don't take it.
I hope you will engage with this campaign and help me reach the 1.5 million voters I will need to make it through the primary.
You deserve a government that represents you
Please take a look at what I'm going to be doing over the next coming months. I'm going to be running for a year. I'm not going to be on television, they don't even put our governor candidates on television. I'll be lucky to get some radio spots.
And I'll just be earning as much media as I can. I'll be doing whatever it takes to earn some media. I'm not afraid of getting arrested. (Some of my) family (members were in) law enforcement, I'm really comfortable dealing with police officers, I can bring some of that to the game with me,
They are excluding us from the debates, they are hiring rent-a-cops, private security, well I can rent some cops too.
So thanks for coming, thanks for sticking it out and let's go get 'em."
Ann Garrison has agreed to serve as a communications liaison to the Curtis for Secretary of State campaign. She begins work in July, 2013.
"I wrote a teen column for the Bremerton Sun, now the Kitsap Sun, in Bremerton, Washington, at age 13, and I've been a writer, of various sorts, ever since.
Since 2006 I have focused on writing about energy, indigenous, and social justice issues for the San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper, with recent focus on war and resource extraction on the African Continent. My work has also appeared in the San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Focus, Macworld, Macweek, the Op-Ed News, Global Research, Pambazuka News, Colored Opinions, the Ghana Business Times, and a City Lights Press anthology, "Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture."
My Examiner.com energy reports have been posted to USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Sacramento Bee, Egypt Daily, the Karachi Times, and many oil and gas industry publications and TOPIX websites.
I have been interviewed and/or have broadcast editorials on NBC News, KTVU Channel 2 San Francisco Bay Area, KQED Radio 89.5FM, KPFA Radio-Berkeley 94.1FM, KMEC Radio-Mendocino 105.1FM, Pirate Cat Radio-San Francisco, 89.7LPFM, and Earthcycles.net, and I sometimes co-host on Tuesdays, on KMEC 105.1FM."