Activists intent on flushing oil money out of Democrats’ campaigns stage a rally outside governor’s mansion


A few dozen protesters, many of them state Democratic Party delegates, marched to Gov. Jerry Brown’s downtown Sacramento mansion Saturday to demand that politicians stop taking campaign money from oil companies.

The protest, called the Delegates Against Dirty Money march, came on the second day of the California Democratic Party convention. Many of the progressives who have led protests, chants and demonstrations at the event are newcomers to the internal politics of the party.

This weekend some state party delegates are trying to pass a resolution that would “publicly condemn corporations and lobbyists that finance political campaigns” and pressure candidates and officials to sign a pledge that they won’t take contributions of more than $200 from oil companies.

“Just because you are a Democrat is not good enough for me,” one protester said into a bullhorn, as others held signs that read “Oil Money Out.” “Those big Democrats in there that are putting money first, they’re fighting against us…and we’re going to hold them accountable.”

Protest leaders criticized Brown for taking nearly $10 million in campaign contributions from oil companies in the last several years, a point that was publicized in a report by a consumer group last year.

“This is the guy that was the Bernie Sanders of the ’90s,” said activist David Braun, referring to Brown’s run for president against Bill Clinton, when he vowed not to take contributions of more than $100. “That guy’s long gone, but we need him back. Jerry Brown, we need you!”

Brown was not home, spending the weekend instead at a family reunion on his Northern California ranch.

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