SAN DIEGO - When we see race car drivers, there's no mistaking that sponsors make NASCAR's wheels go round. Imagine if our politicians had to do the same.
"If they don't take any money, they won't have to wear any stickers,” said John Cox who’s behind the "California Is Not For Sale" campaign. He filed a ballot initiative with the state on October 27.
Cox wants California State Assembly members and senators to display their top 10 donors anytime they speak on the floor - just like the life-size cutouts he's displayed in front of the San Diego County building and on the steps of the state capitol. The cut-outs show state politicians covered in corporate and union logos.
"It's a corrupt system and it's got to change,” said Cox.
Cox says the goal is not to embarrass politicians or to attack corporations, unions or collective bargaining. He simply wants to call attention to the fact that big money controls politics.
"I think many of them, most of them, are probably good people. But they're caught in a corrupt system,” said Cox.
Cox made his money in real estate in the Midwest and now calls California home. He paid for the effort to recall former mayor Bob Filner. Now, he's paying for this new campaign.
"These people are not going to change it on their on,” said Cox, referring to state leaders.
10News called state assembly members and senators representing San Diegans in Sacramento to get their reaction to this effort.
Senator Marty Block stated in an email that "he supports reasonable measures to provide more transparency to our legislative process."
Assembly member Rocky Chavez told 10News that he agrees, but added we should maintain some professionalism on the assembly floor.
"To have everyone decked out like race car drivers would be a circus element which wouldn't really benefit the public,” said Chavez.
Chavez pointed out information is already available that shows who is donating to politicians, but suggested one change could be for them to list their top 10 donors on their websites.
"That may be a more convenient way for the average voter to see,” said Chavez.
In January, Cox will start collecting the required 365,000 signatures statewide.
"I actually think this idea will be so popular that we'll get 3 million signatures,” said Cox.
If all goes his way, Californians will vote on this next November.
He plans similar demonstrations in Los Angeles and San Francisco.