Thursday, August 24, 2006

Proposition 89 News

Proposition 89 - Clean Money - Gaining Support

California's two major good government organizations, the League of Women Voters of California and California Common Cause, joined a growing coalition of community-based organizations by endorsing Proposition 89.

"The League and Common Cause have actively worked to support reasonable measures including contribution limits, limits on campaign spending, partial public financing of campaigns, and better disclosure of the financing of campaigns," said Jackie Jacobberger, President of the League of Women Voters of California. "But the real solution to the runaway spending that has made California's elections a competition of money, not ideas, is public funding -- the Clean Money approach."

Proposition 89 mandates strict contribution limits, creates public financing of political campaigns and forces tough disclosure and enforcement for politicians.

"We face a serious problem with voter apathy and disgust over elections where there are no new ideas or faces," noted Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause. "A Clean Money system levels the playing field for more qualified candidates with diverse points of view and backgrounds to run."

The "Clean Money" system of public financing of elections is similar to those already adopted in Maine and Arizona, where the system has lowered overall campaign spending, freed candidates from fundraising, increased turnout, and encouraged more qualified people to run including women and minorities.

"These states have proven that Clean Money elections are constitutional and they work," said Common Cause President Chellie Pingree. "Californians are tired of pay-to-play politics and negative ad wars. Proposition 89 would go a long way toward giving citizens a louder voice and a more responsive government."

In addition, Proposition 89 has gained the support of the Consumer Federation of California.

"All too often, consumer protection legislation is defeated in Sacramento by politicians who are beholden to the big business interests that bankroll their electoral campaigns," CFC's Executive Director Richard Holober stated. "Proposition 89 would help reduce the influence of corporate campaign contributions on elected officials. It will help to decrease the use of the ballot initiative as a vehicle for big business to enact legislation, and help restore the initiative to its original purpose as an expression of the people's will."