Friday, April 13, 2007

Clean Money hearing in Sacramento on Tuesday 4/17/07

If you can be in Sacramento on Tuesday, be in Sacramento on Tuesday! Loni Hancock's AB 583, The California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, is having it's first hearing in the Assembly Elections Committee at 1:30(ish) in Room 444 of the old rotunda of the state capitol building.

If you can't be in Sacramento, it's a good time to remind your state representative that it's time for real campaign finance reform in California.

California Clean Money is leading the charge again. This bill is very similar to the legislation that was pulled last year when Prop 89 made it on to the ballot. I like this much better. It's straight forward, and will work like the already working systems that have been in effect in Arizona and Maine since 2000. Candidates can voluntarily chose public financing, and qualify by showing a broad base of support in the form of $5 "seed money" donations. The level of funding depends on the office, and if a candidate is running against a opponent that is going the traditional campaign donation route, they can receive additional funds (to a set limit) to offset some of that imbalance.

I hope to see clean money, public campaign financing in California sooner rather than later. The results in Arizona and Maine have shown this is a viable system that allows ideas to trump fundraising, and promotes equity and democracy. Voters have more choice, more women and minority candidates are able to run for office, and politicians create better public policy. In Arizona, they're now able to pass budgets that provide real services to their citizens rather than funding special interests for campaign the tune of nearly a billion dollars. Maine was finally able to pass a form of universal healthcare. Until now, lobbyists were always able to stop it. Not anymore.

Clean money pays for itself. Poke around the California Clean Money website for a bit if you want to learn more about it. I think it's peachy.

Clean Money is back....It's a good thing I understand the concept of delayed gratification.

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