The momentum for Clean Money is growing stronger and stronger each day. A lot of this is due to your help and support and continued activism. But we must not let up! This is a great editorial from the San Francisco Chronicle:
THE CALIFORNIA Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, AB583, will have its first state Senate hearing Thursday. If it passes -- and every senator should vote for it -- expect a sea change in California politics.
Imagine election campaigns focused on ideas, not scare tactics and smears. Imagine a Legislature that's more reflective of California: more women and minorities. Imagine real leadership on tough issues, such as health care and education funding. Sound like a dream? It happened in Arizona and Maine when those states adopted public campaign financing.
Now is the time to act. California voters are frustrated and dissatisfied with the elections process: so dissatisfied that 57 percent of them support public financing, according to research by the Public Policy Institute of California. That's quite a mandate in a fiscally conservative state.
For those who are still suspicious, consider the status quo: annual lobbying scandals, expensive special elections, legislators who change their votes after leaving the floor to please campaign contributors. We'll pay far more in the long run, if we continue to have legislators who don't feel beholden to us.
AB583, by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, calls for state financing of up to $1.5 million for qualifying candidates. It's not a perfect bill -- it doesn't specify where the money will come from, and it may not be enough if campaign-spending levels continue their exponential growth. The state Senate will probably tinker with it.
That body should feel free to do so -- as long as the senators don't weaken its provisions or water down its mission. Voters will probably have the final say after the governor, and they're ready for real change. Imagine that.
Yeah... imagine that...