By Wayne Williams
November 3, 2009, Los Angeles, CA
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After a powerful conference call with the PDA Clean Elections Group this past week, PDA members were thrilled to learn of the upcoming ballot measure that will establish a pilot program for Fair Elections (Full Public Funding of Elections) in California. Finally there is a chance to start getting the outrageous amount of money out of the political game—a game that we can see in the current healthcare fight influences everything Progressives believe in.
The proposition due to be on the June 2010 California statewide ballot will be called the California Fair Elections Act and will show Californians how they can take back their state by getting politicians out of the fund-raising game so that they will focus on our priorities.
Authored by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, the California Fair Elections Act would establish a voluntary pilot project for California’s secretary of state races in 2014 and 2018. PDA members in California were critical, with their grassroots efforts, calls, faxes and emails, in getting this bill passed to put the act on the ballot.
Candidates will be allowed to qualify for public financing if they agree to strict spending prohibitions and raise 7,500 $5 contributions and signatures from Californians. If established, this pilot program would be funded primarily by fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms and lobbyist employers, who have some of the lowest fees in the country. Participating candidates would be prohibited from raising or spending beyond the limited public financing and would be banned from raising money from lobbyists, their clients or anyone else. Candidates will get enough money to run competitive campaigns and would get additional matching funds if they are outspent by a non-participating candidate or attacked by outside groups.
Under a fair elections system, candidates from any background who show a broad base of support can run for office, and they don’t owe their election to anyone but the voters. Wouldn’t that be refreshing?
Thing are looking good for this proposition’s success as a recent poll showed 63% of Californians would vote YES, but you know the lobbyists and special interests will try to defeat it, so we need your help. If we can pass this in California, we can pass it everywhere!
For more information on the California Fair Elections Act and how it will be implemented, go to YesFairElections.org.
Sign the statement of support no matter where you live in the U.S. and check any options for any ways you might be able to help out. Just go to http://www.YesFairElections.org/.
Let’s pass the California Fair Elections Act and begin to bring an end to the corruption of big money in politics.
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