The new group called “California Forward” has an impressive bi-partisan roster— President Clinton’s former chief of staff Leon Panetta is one of the co-chairs. Panetta says their goals include changing the way legislative districts are drawn to make races for public office more competitive. He says he also wants to find a way for Democrats and Republicans to agree on raising taxes—or fees to generate revenue.
“Maybe they won’t call them taxes but I’m willing to take any name they want to describe it in order to try to provide perhaps some of the elements of a deal between the Republicans and Democrats …”
The group is being funded by five separate foundations—with sixteen million dollars. It will also support initiative campaigns—with separate funding. The organization has already gotten behind a measure backed by Governor Schwarzenegger to change the re-districting process .