Friday, September 22, 2006

Youtube Movie Release

FTCR: Special Interests in Action: The Movie; Prop 89 Group Goes Undercover in Capitol, Films Lobbyist Frenzy

A YouTube video released today by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights offers rare narrated footage of special-interest lobbyists and their easy access to California lawmakers ( http://www.channel89.org/bigmoneybuys/ ). The 3-minute handheld video, taken during the final frenzied days of lawmaking in Sacramento late last month, features Armani-suited lobbyists passing through "The Gate" inside the state Capitol to speak with lawmakers. At the same time, a shirt-sleeved ordinary citizen cools his heels in the hallway with a stopwatch running.

Footage of political fund-raisers occurring across the street from the Capitol is also included.

"These images show who matters and who doesn't in Sacramento, how ordinary voters are left in the cold by a system that demands incessant fund-raising and big checks for lawmakers to stay in public office," said Jamie Court, president of the nonprofit, nonpartisan FTCR. Passage of Proposition 89 on the November ballot, offering public financing of elections and strict limits on special interest campaign contributions, would put power back with the voters, said FTCR.

The video, produced and edited by FTCR staff, offers a concise interpretation of what's going on with the expensively clothed people being called to confer with their chosen lawmakers on their chosen topics. "After watching this video, no average person could believe lawmakers' protests that lobbyists and their clients get no special favors," said Court. "Prop 89 will make lawmaking about big ideas, not big money." For more on Proposition 89, see http://www.yeson89.org