Business executive John Cox, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House and Senate in Illinois, has moved one step closer to placing an initiative on the ballot that would require state legislators to wear the emblems of their top donors. Cox is the sponsor of a landmark campaign finance initiative which would require all California state legislators to wear the logos of their biggest donors in a fashion that’s readily visible to voters — not unlike shirts worn by NASCAR drivers, which display their sponsors. In California, where big money and big lobbyists fuel political campaigns, “these politicians basically get put in office by donors, and they do what donors want,” he told POLITICO. “So let’s make them wear the logos to show where the real political power is.”
Cox told POLITICO on Monday that, as of Dec. 31, the “Name All Sponsors California Accountability Reform” (NASCAR, for short) measure has been given the required title and summary by the California Attorney General’s office and has been cleared to collect signatures for possible placement on the November 2016 ballot.
Cox said he’s already hired paid signature-gatherers who “will hit the streets later this week,” and vows to spend $1 million of his own money to secure 365,880 valid signatures by April 26 to place the measure on the November ballot.
But Cox will have an uphill battle in canvassing the nation’s most populous state, where getting simply putting measures on the ballot can cost millions — and getting them passed is even pricier.