California Fair Elections Campaign Announces Major Labor Endorsement

By Californians for Fair Elections

SACRAMENTO, CA -- The California Fair Elections campaign today announced that the nation's largest public employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), has joined the California Fair Elections Act's (CFEA) growing list of endorsers.

"The California Fair Elections Act represents the vital reform we need to get Sacramento back on track so elected officials are focused on protecting working families," said Willie L. Pelote, Sr., Assistant Director, Political Department, AFSCME International. "When elected officials get out of the fundraising game, they can focus their attention on improving our health care, our home care, and our schools."

"The California Fair Elections Act will help level the playing field so candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented communities finally have a fair shot at elected office," continued Pelote.

Trent Lange, Chair, California Fair Elections Act added, "In 2008, big business outspent labor by approximately 4 to 1 in contributions to California candidates. Under the current system, elected officials must spend so much of their time fundraising that they often don't have time to address issues that will benefit their constituents. The California Fair Elections Act will stop politicians from spending so much time fundraising, so that they can do the job we elected them to do."

Appearing on the June 8, 2010 ballot, the California Fair Elections Act, authored by Loni Hancock and signed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, will appear on the June 2010 ballot. The initiative would create a pilot project providing voluntary public financing 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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