I wanted to share more information with you about our first success. But the fight is not over, we have lots more to do! This excerpt is from the Contra Costa Times....
The much debated California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act of 2006, which passed with 47 of 48 Democrats voting in favor -- and no Republicans in support -- would be a voluntary program. But a candidate who chose not to participate and accepted outside donations would almost certainly face scrutiny -- and perhaps voter backlash.
"This is a historic victory in that the state of California has never even debated the merits of a public financing bill previously," said Eric Tang with the California Clean Money Campaign. "I think there's been a huge groundswell demand from the public to do something about the corruption scandals that are crippling our faith in public officials."
The measure, nearly identical to a law in Arizona, next heads to the Senate.
A previous measure failed in the state Legislature for lack of support in 2004, but the new bill, written by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, found renewed interest following the November special election. That election, called by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, cost about $40 million in public money and incurred record spending -- as much as $300 million -- by the committees battling over the eight failed ballot measures.
"Polls show that respect for state government has gone down dramatically in the past year," Hancock told her colleagues on the Assembly floor. "Everyone recognizes we have a system in place that brings out the worst in almost everybody that participates in it."
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