Watch Now: Money in Politics

Forum co-hosted by FAC and KPCC Public Radio

On Thursday, May 12, 2016 FAC and KPCC (Southern California Public Radio) presented a panel discussion on money in politics and California’s ballot initiative process. Watch the Livestream video feed above. The November ballot in California  is expected to set a record for citizen initiatives, with more than 100 proposed and filed. California’s citizens’ initiative process is a form of direct democracy, allowing citizens to bypass the Legislature to enact laws that they want. Good in theory. How about in practice? Are average voters equipped to deal with the complexities of legislation? Does the process of qualifying an initiative for the ballot—costly and cumbersome—simply provide an alternate route for special interests to hold sway? Do you think California’s initiative process is controlled more by large industries, labor unions and wealthy individuals than by  ordinary citizens? If so, how should the process be reformed? Or should it be scrapped altogether? These were among the issues related to money in CA’s initiative process that were explored at the Money in Politics forum hosted by Larry Mantle (host of KPCC’s AirTalk) and Peter Scheer (FAC executive director)  with these special guests:


John Matsusaka

John Matsusaka USC Charles F. Sexton chair in American enterprise, professor of finance and business economics, and executive director of Initiative and Referendum Institute.Pete PetersonInterim dean of the School of Public Policy and executive director of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University.

Jessica Levinson

Professor at Loyola Law School Her work focuses on election law and governance issues, including campaign finance, ethics, ballot initiatives, redistricting, term limits and state budgets. Levinson currently serves as a the Vice President of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. She was appointed by the Los Angeles City Controller in 2013 to serve a five-year term.

Richard Hasen

Chancellor's Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, Hasen is a nationally-recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, and is co-author of a leading casebook on election law.Hasen also writes the often-quoted Election Law Blog.

John Eastman

Professor of law and community service at Chapman University.