Reform How Elections Are Funded

*Letter to the Editor

By Gary Krane

Most Californians want to get rid of Gray Davis because they are disgusted with how much he's become a pawn of special interests, such as the correctional officers' association and wealthy private donors.

If opponents, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, promise to break special interests' hold, I hope they will level with the voters and let them know that the only method that's ever broken the hold of special interests over state legislatures and governors has been full public funding of elections (PFE).

Passed by state initiatives, PFE has been successful in Arizona and Maine and is beginning to be adopted in North Carolina and New Mexico. For example, in the last election in Arizona, seven of the nine top state office holders, including governor (the first Democrat in six election cycles, and also a woman), attorney general and state treasurer, all ran almost completely on public funds (at less than $5 per taxpayer), taking no special-interest money. And now, almost half the members of Arizona's state assembly are fully publicly funded.

Only Peter Camejo (Green Party) and Georgy Russel have made PFE, or "clean" elections as they are sometimes called, central to their campaign.

See the article on Contra Costa Times website

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