California Gubernatorial Candidates, Activists to Discuss All-Inclusive Debates and Proposition 19 – Sushi, Sake, Socialize Fundraiser Benefiting The Free and Equal Elections Foundation

407 S. Dearborn Street ♦ Suite 1170 ♦ Chicago, IL ♦ 60605
(312) 320-4101 ♦ FAX (866) 309-7803

Christina Tobin, Founder and Chair
Phone: 312-320-4101

California Gubernatorial Candidates, Activists to Discuss All-Inclusive Debates and Proposition 19 – Sushi, Sake, Socialize Fundraiser Benefiting The Free and Equal Elections Foundation.

Presentations Expand on October 6 Press Conference and Include Public Endorsements of Christina Tobin’s Campaign for California Secretary of State.

MILL VALLEY, Calif. – Third party California gubernatorial candidates and activists continue to fight the systematic muzzling of alternative voices and choices during this and every election season, and will publicly discuss the entrenched policy of exclusion at a fundraiser for the Free and Equal Elections Foundation.

Candidates Carlos Alvarez of California’s Peace and Freedom Party, Dale Ogden of the Libertarian Party and Laura Wells of the Green Party will speak about all-inclusive candidate debates, proportional representation, Proposition 19 and war, at the “Sushi, Sake, Socialize” fundraiser, Saturday, October 9, 2010, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. at 114 Inez Place, Mill Valley, Calif.

Chelene Nightingale of the Constitution Party, Democrat Jerry Brown, and Republican Meg Whitman have also been invited. Brown and Whitman have not responded to date.

Additional speakers will include Gerald Murray, national youth coordinator for Laura Chinchilla’s 2010 Costa Rica presidential campaign and international relations liaison for Free and Equal, who will speak about conflict currently underway in Costa Rica and how Proposition 19 will impact the country, and Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who will discuss war. Both will publicly endorse Christina Tobin in her race for California’s Secretary of State.

The fundraiser follows Free and Equal’s Wednesday press conference which was covered by Channel 10 News, Sacramento and The Sacramento Bee.

All-inclusive Candidate Debates

Tobin, in her official duties as founder and chair of Free and Equal, will moderate an all-inclusive gubernatorial and U.S. senatorial candidate debate at California State University in Sacramento, Thursday, October 28, 2010. She also will moderate debates at universities in Connecticut, Illinois and Oklahoma during October. Free and Equal intends to host additional debates in Kentucky and elsewhere during the next election cycles. Tobin and Free and Equal have a history of providing voters more voices and more choices, organizing forums for all ballot-qualified candidates since 2008.

Free and Equal recently launched an online petition that calls for all-inclusive debates nationwide and allows candidates, voters and potential voters to easily voice their opinion on the issue.

Proposition 19 Takes California and the Nation by Storm.

Proposition 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, has garnered nationwide attention and is expected to be a highlighted topic at the fundraiser.

“Proposition 19 is a hot-button issue,” Tobin said. “Candidates, businesses and voters seem to be split down the middle in their opinions of the Act, but a number of polls in the last few months suggest a growing momentum of support for Prop 19.”

“Marijuana prohibition is one of our nation’s – and world’s – greatest propaganda campaigns,” Tobin added. “The U.S. government has been pulling the wool over the eyes of the American and global public for more than 70 years when it comes to marijuana. Proposition 19 is a chance for California voters to fight back.

Chair of the national Libertarian party, and California voter Mark Hinkle recently released his official endorsement of Proposition 19, stating, “the War on Drugs has created tremendous damage in California and throughout America, and this will help stop that damage.”

Gubernatorial candidates Alvarez, Ogden and Wells all publicly favor Proposition 19. Nightingale is currently neutral. Despite numerous attempts by Free and Equal representatives, Brown and Whitman have been unavailable, or unwilling, to comment regarding Proposition 19 and all-inclusive debates.

National advocacy organizations including Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) have been working on behalf of those affected by Marijuana prohibition for decades.

“The Marijuana Policy Project has largely sat out the campaign to end marijuana prohibition in California this election cycle, but the recent escalation of infighting among allies who claim to support marijuana legalization has inspired me to speak out, and firmly,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of MPP, in a recent column published by The Huffington Post. “… unfortunately, some anti-prohibitionists are choosing to advocate for prohibition, because Prop. 19 isn’t ‘perfect enough,’ they imply.”

The opposition to Proposition 19 is well funded, often by organizations that stand to see a negative effect on the bottom lines of their organizations and those who believe that the private prison system needs to be filled to capacity if the proposition passes, not people who are concerned about society or schools. A position, that some say, does little more than align opponents with the views and goals of drug cartels. Interestingly, history has shown that illegal sales cease to be profitable once a substance is legalized, take alcohol prohibition for instance.

According to the California Secretary of State’s office, Public Safety First, a project of People Against Prop. 5 Deception, has received at least $10,000 from the California Beverage Distributors Association, $16,000 from the California Hospital Association, $20,500 from the California Narcotic Officers’ Association and $30,000 from the California Police Chief’s Association. These are just four of the largest donations made to the organization, which is the main opposition group against the passage of Proposition 19.

People Against Prop. 5 Deception was financed, to a large extent, by the California Republican Party ($238,000), Meg Whitman ($250,000), California Correctional Peace Officers ($1,000,000) and the California Beverage Distributors ($100,000). Proposition 5 was intended to lessen sentences for non-violent criminals and remove prison sentences for most marijuana related offenses.

The fundraiser is free for media representatives with a Free and Equal press pass. Those may be obtained by emailing Christina Tobin at, by 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, October 8. More information regarding this fundraiser is available on the Free and Equal website.


Free & Equal is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public-policy advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the rights of the politically marginalized and disenfranchised, particularly those of third party and Independent candidates.