Golden State Warriors Player Speaks to UC Berkeley Class

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A Golden State Warriors player called a foul against campaign finance practices in a speech to UC Berkeley students yesterday.

In a speech to a political science class, Adonal Foyle, a center for the Golden State Warriors, said political power should be based on merit, not wealth.

Photo/Anna Browne
Golden State Warriors center Adonal Foyle gives a talk to lecturer Alan Ross' political science class Wednesday afternoon about finance reform.

"Our political system is run by people who buy their way into the system," Foyle said. "There is no buying your way into the NBA. The only criteria is talent. Imagine a basketball game with Ross Perot, George Bush, (President George W. Bush) and Donald Trump."

Foyle, who spoke for lecturer Alan Ross's Political Science 179 class, said politicians should be held accountable to their constituencies, not to their pocket books.

"Incumbents win most elections because they have a very well-oiled machine, not because they find creative ways of making society better," Foyle said. "Any second, my job is on the line. If I'm not ready to play, they'll take my job away."

Despite a common assumption that college students are apathetic, they can be a critical force for this change, Foyle said.

Students have the numbers to affect change, Foyle said, citing recent victories in legislation for publically-funded elections, he said.

The McCain-Feingold bill, passed in March, banned national parties and candidates from raising and spending unrestricted soft money.

But bills like this are small steps toward complete reform, Foyle said.

Many students in the class said campaign finance is an important political problem, but some said garnering support at UC Berkeley may be difficult.

"Most students are apathetic on this issue because they don't know a lot," said UC Berkeley junior Kristin Guess. "People may face a similar problem (organizing) here because the (campaign finance reform) is not interesting even if it is very important."

But others were more optimistic about student participation.

"Students aren't apathetic," said Abe Gardner, president of the UC Berkeley chapter of Democracy Matters, a national organization founded by Foyle to raise political awareness on college campuses. "But there is not a relationship between activism and political action."


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