Press Release

Save Our State from the Bungling Billionaires

Nurses, Teachers, Scour Yacht Club Tuesday to Expose Secret Wealthy Donors to Anti-Prop. 30 Campaign

Click to see pictures of the action!

SAN FRANCISCO - California nurses, teachers, and responsible business individuals will pay a visit to the posh St. Francis Yacht Club on the aptly named Yacht Road in San Francisco Tuesday in what promises to be a colorful event to shine a spotlight on the secretive wealthy donors who are bankrolling the campaign to defeat Proposition 30.

The Tuesday action will include a yacht, SOS life rings, and actors playing the role of the  four mega-rich venture capitalists who recently formed a committee deceptively named “Californians for Reforms and Jobs Not Taxes Campaign” to defeat Proposition 30 on the November ballot.

Committee members include Floyd Kvamme, GOP donor and part of a committee fined by the Federal Elections Committee after the 2004 election; David Marquardt and Mark Stevens, venture capitalist donors to Mitt Romney and George W. Bush; and John Cox, fringe candidate for president in 2008, whose PAC has taken money from Phillip Morris.

What:      Bungling Billionaires Exposed:
When:     11 a.m. — Tuesday, August 21
Where:    St. Francis Yacht Club
                99 Yacht Road, San Francisco

“These amateur multimillionaires are playing with our state's future like they play with their yachts and other toys,” said Malinda Markowitz, RN, and a co-president of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. “Why are they funneling hordes of cash against a campaign to protect our schools, our healthcare safety net, and other vital California services simply to avoid paying a little more of their fair share?”

"For me, an extra 2 percent or 3 percent in taxes is not going to make a bit of difference in the way that I live,” said Frank Jernigan, a retired Google software engineer and member of the Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength. “But by bringing billions of dollars in new revenues to California for public schools and safety, Prop. 30 will make a tremendous difference in the lives of many."

“My students at City College deserve a decent education,” said Kathe Burick, a dance instructor, at the CCSF. “State budget cuts due in part to an inequitable tax structure that benefits the wealthy means that City College is unable to fully meet the needs of our student population.  When Prop. 30 passes City College will be better able to fulfill its promise to our students."

“Every day registered nurses see the harm that comes to our patients in the midst of our economic crisis,” said Zenei Cortez, RN, CAN/NNU co-president. “We see health problems made worse by deferred care, more stress-related conditions including high blood pressure, mental illnesses, and more children presenting with diseases typically associated with adults.

“Proposition 30 is an important first step to address the health impacts from our budget crisis. The nurses worked hard to elect Jerry Brown; now we will work harder to have him succeed as a governor who will fight for our communities,” said Cortez.

"Class sizes have gone up and resources to support my classroom have gone down over the past few years,” said Sunny Dawn, a third-grade teacher at Cleveland Elementary School in San Francisco. “If everyone, including the wealthy, would pay their fair share of taxes, we could begin to turn that around, and my students would have a better chance of success. That's why I support Prop. 30."

Prop. 30, endorsed by the California Nurses Association and the California Federation of Teachers, would raise $9 billion in the first year, and $6 billion every year for six years after that, mostly through a small increase in taxes for the top income brackets, starting at households making $500,000 or more per year, as well as a temporary one-quarter of a cent increase in the state sales tax.  The revenue would go directly to education and public safety, while freeing up general fund dollars for healthcare, childcare, and other critical services.