Monterey Bay Residents Say Yes to Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act
Assembly Members Bill Monning, John Laird (ret.), and Sally Lieber (ret.), Santa Cruz County Treasurer Fred Keeley, Santa Cruz City Council Members Tony Madrigal and Cynthia Matthews, and 4th District County Supervisor Jane Parker Support Proposition 15
Santa Cruz and Seaside - On the heels of the recent U.S.
Supreme Court ruling on corporate money's role in
elections, Assembly Members Bill Monning (D-Carmel), John
Laird (ret.) and Sally Lieber (ret.), Santa Cruz County
Treasurer Fred Keeley (ret.), Santa Cruz City Council
Members Tony Madrigal and Cynthia Mathews and 4th District
County Supervisor Jane Parker came together with community
leaders today to educate the Monterey Bay community about
Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act, a ballot
proposition which would get elected officials out of the
fundraising game and focused on solving California's
"During the biggest political and budget crisis in modern
California history, our elected officials should spend
their time focusing on solving problems not seeking big
campaign donations," said former Assemblymember John Laird.
"I strongly support Proposition 15 because it would make
California elections about ideas and solutions."
"During bill debates, lobbyists hand legislators their
business cards with 'meet me in the hall for 10 seconds'
written on the back, said Assembly Member Sally Lieber (the
retired will be above so we can leave it at that.) "I don't
know of any public policy argument that can be made in 10
seconds. Proposition 15 is a crucial first step toward
taking public policy out of the hands of special interests
and into the hands of voters."
Since 2000, over $1 billion has been raised by California
politicians, buying special interests unprecedented access
but shutting out the rest of us. That's why polls show
nearly three out of four voters want to change the way
elections in California are financed.
Authored by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) and signed by
Governor Schwarzenegger, the California Fair Elections Act
would establish a voluntary pilot project for California's
Secretary of State races in 2014 and 2018. Candidates would
qualify for public financing if they agree to strict
spending prohibitions and raise a large number of $5
contributions from Californians. The pilot program would be
funded primarily by fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms, and
lobbyist employers, with no taxpayer dollars going to
"Sadly, financial barriers have kept many talented,
financially-challenged candidates from running for elected
office," said Santa Cruz County Treasurer Fred Keeley. "I
support Proposition 15, because under a fair elections
system, the political process would be open to candidates
from any background who show a broad base of support."
"Proposition 15 represents an important opportunity to
advance the cause of campaign finance reform in
California," said Assemblyman Monning. "I am proud to be a
supporter of this historic initiative."
A version of the California Fair Elections Act is already
in place in seven states and two cities. Nearly 400
candidates were elected using only fair elections funding
in their 2008 campaigns, and the programs enjoy popular
support across party lines. National surveys show that two
out of three voters support public financing.
When these financial barriers are eliminated, as they have
been in Arizona and Maine, more women and people of color
are allowed to run for office. In Arizona, Former Governor
Janet Napolitano was elected under the fair elections
system and the number of Latino and Native American
candidates running for office nearly tripled in the first
year that the system went fully into effect, from 13 in
2000 to 37 in 2002.
Voters are ready for elections that money can't buy. In an
October 2009 survey, likely June 2010 voters supported the
California Fair Elections Act by a nearly 3-1 margin.
Support held strong across all political parties and
geographic regions of California with support of 65% among
Latinos, 65% among Democrats, 65% among independents, and
59% among Republicans.
"Under a fair elections system, elected officials truly
represent voters, not campaign donors," said Trent Lange,
chairman of the California Fair Elections Campaign. "Public
financing has freed elected officials across the country to
pass bi-partisan, groundbreaking legislation that is only
possible when our leaders do not fear retribution from
powerful special interests."
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