California Fair Elections Campaign Announces Sierra Club Endorsement

By Press Release

LOS ANGELES, CA -- The California Fair Elections Campaign today announced that the Sierra Club, the nation's largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization, has endorsed the California Fair Elections Act, which will appear on the June 2010 ballot.

"The California Fair Elections Act will help protect our air, water and wilderness by reducing the influence of special interests in Sacramento," said Bill Magavern, Director of Sierra Club California. "In the 2008 elections, companies who profit from pollution and climate change outspent environmental groups by 32 to 1. When the California Fair Elections Act is law, we can be sure that candidates represent voters, not anti-environment, special-interest donors."

Illustrating how a Fair Elections system helps pro-environment candidates succeed, Maine legislators who ran for office under that state's public finance campaign system scored nearly twice as high on a leading environment scorecard than their colleagues who did not opt for public financing.

"Under the current system, elected officials must spend so much of their time fundraising that they often don't have time to address environmental problems," said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Action Fund. "Worse, they often have to raise money from special interests who don't have Californians' best interests at heart. We need to get politicians out of the fundraising game so that they can do the job we elected them to do."

Authored by Loni Hancock and signed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Fair Elections Act would establish a voluntary pilot public financing program for candidates running for Secretary of State in 2014 and 2018 who qualify and agree to strict spending limits, with no taxpayer dollars going to candidates.

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