Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Great Op-Ed

Yuba Net:

With the cost of advertising and voter disaffection at an all time high, many important measures on the California ballot—from more funds for disaster preparedness and education to cleaner air--may languish because the voters either stay home or are misinformed. Proponents of Proposition 89, the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, assert that Proposition 89 is the only measure on the California ballot that would change the current election environment, curbing corporate expenditures on initiatives while leveling the playing field for politicians to have a clear shot at getting their own message out.

"If it hasn't already, this election will soon pass up last year's special election as ‘the costliest election in history.' Voters are sickened and confused by the deluge of advertising, particularly by the big oil companies against Proposition 87," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of the California Clean Money Action Fund, one of the co- drafters of Proposition 89.

"There's no question that if Proposition 89 were in place now, you wouldn't be seeing such an advertising spending war on a handful of initiatives," continued Lerner. "The corporations would have a $10,000 limit on spending and multimillionaires would have no incentive to escalate their own personal contributions."

Last year's special election passed the $300,000,000 mark in overall spending. All accounts show this election will surpass even that historic high by next week. Multimillion dollar spending by a handful of corporations, such as Chevron, has driven the cost of television advertising up to a point where most campaigns for down ballot statewide candidates and less well-known initiatives can't afford to put their message before the voters.

Most. Expensive. Election. Ever.