Archive for April 4, 2014

April Meeting to focus on Money in Politics

“Corporations are people, my friend”. That sentence was probably the most repeated quote from Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Election. And with the Citizen’s United decision, and now the McCutcheon ruling, Romney’s corporate people, and a few individuals will be able to spend virtually unlimited funds to insure their candidate are not only elected, but beholden to them for the position.

E.J. Dionne pointed out on NPR that only 519 people actually hit the previously established limits that McCutcheon eliminates, which means this ruling, in practical sense, applies in large part to that very small segment of the population!

James Forbes

James Forbes

Does money equal speech, and therefor fall under the first amendment? the American River Democrats will be welcoming James Forbes to our meeting this month to discuss that and all of the issues surrounding the titanic changes to America’s previous efforts to level the campaign playing field so citizens will have a great voice in their government.

Jim Forbes is from a small farming town in Illinois.  He moved to Sacramento to attend law school, because it made a lot of sense to him to trade Illinois for California.  After finishing law school in 1978, Jim moved to Oregon where he was a deputy DA for 5 years.  Jim got married in Oregon, and the couple moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where they stayed for 15 years. Besides having two great kids in Alaska, Jim worked for the Alaska AG’s office for about 9 years and had a private law practice for about 6 years.

Jim and his family returned to Bend, Oregon in 1999, where Jim worked as City attorney, handling land use cases.  When the housing crash hit in 2008, the land use law practice crashed along with it, and Jim stated handling personal bankruptcy cases for clients who had lost jobs, homes and savings.  Jim became interested in the reasons for the housing crash and he started seeing that Wall Street’s large donations to politicians had resulted in new economic rules that created the housing bubble, and the crash that followed. (And the bailout that followed the crash.)   When the Supreme Court decided the Citizens United case in 2010, Jim decided that he wanted to spend time doing something to reduce the influence of big money in politics.

Jim moved back to Sacramento in 2012, where he got remarried — this time to his childhood sweetheart — they had known each other since attending 7th grade together in 1964.

Jim is now an attorney in California, but is semi-retired, and is volunteering his time trying to reverse the Citizens United case to restore balance to the political system.


Please join us for the April meeting to hear what Jim Forbes has to say, and what we as ordinary citizens whose last name isn’t Koch can do about reforming our political process.

The America River Democrats April Meeting will be at Samurai Sushi, Wednesday, April 16, 12251 Folsom Bl, Rancho Cordova. We begin our gathering at 6:30 for social time and a chance to order food or drinks. The official meeting will begin at 7:00 pm.

Samurai Sushi is near the Hazel exit from the 50 freeway on Folsom Blvd.

Guests are always welcome! Feel free to join us to hear about money in politics, or to learn more about the American River Democrats.