California voters are turning away from political parties in droves, and Independents are deciding most statewide elections. Now former Republican officials and fundraisers have gone outside the party to create a Super PAC, trying to retain enough seats to support business interests in the Assembly and Senate. They'll settle for moderate Democrats. Will big money destroy the two-party system in California? Also, will the Forum in Inglewood become Madison Square Garden West? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, NATO and Syria: the military option.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The "Fabulous Forum" isn't so fabulous any more. The Kings and Lakers moved downtown to the Staples Center in 1999, along with the kind of big-name entertainment acts that used to draw big crowds to Inglewood. Now that may be about to change. MSG, owners of Madison Square Garden, have acquired the Forum, and that's renewed plans for a developer who wants to turn the Hollywood Park racetrack into a planned community. James Butts is a former Inglewood policeman and former police chief in Santa Monica. Now the Mayor of Inglewood, he joins us in the studio.
James Butts, City of Inglewood
Steve Schmidt, a senior advisor to the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008, says, "The California Republican Party has collapsed." In "the Number One richest state for politics in America, the donor community has defunded" the state GOP, which is "an unworthy and unsafe investment," Schmidt says. Former Republican state finance chairman Jeff Miller and strategist Tony Russo have gone outside the party to form a "center-right" Super PAC to support candidates that favor business in the Assembly and Senate. Even moderate Democrats will do.
Dan Schnur, USC Unruh Institute of Politics / Dornsife LA Times Poll (@danschnur)
Jon Fleischman, Breitbart California (@FlashReport)
Darry Sragow, Democratic political consultant
William Allison, Sunlight Foundation (@bill_allison)
Conservatives used to argue that full disclosure of campaign contributions would prevent corruption. Now they're making a pitch for secrecy. If the names of high-profile political donors were made public, contributors could face bullying and harassment from liberals out to "muzzle" free speech. That's according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a recent speech. The Wall Street Journal has warned that corporations might face boycotts and picket lines if their names are revealed.
At today's meeting in Brussels, the leaders of the NATO alliance denounced Syria for shooting down a Turkish jet fighter. Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan threatened Syria with retaliation and warned against any military approach to the Turkish border.