California Fair Elections Campaign Statement on Today's Field Poll

By Press Release

LOS ANGELES, CA - The California Fair Elections Campaign released the following statement from Chair Trent Lange after the release of today's Field Poll:

"Today's Field Poll is more evidence that Californians are ready to change the way we finance California elections. The California Fair Elections Act on the June 2010 ballot would do start to make that change, and so represents the change voters want and the reform California sorely needs.

"California voters have been fed up with Sacramento politics for some time, and today's Field Poll shows approval ratings of our elected officials have sunk to new lows. There are a number of justified reasons for voters' discontent, and their belief that Sacramento kowtows to special interests who give them huge campaign contributions, at the expense of voters, is a big one.

"The California Fair Elections Act will begin restoring voter confidence in our democracy by enabling politicians to get out of the fundraising game and to focus squarely on solving our problems. With the California Fair Elections Act, voters can be assured that elected officials are representing the people's interests, not the special interests'."

Authored by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, AB 583, the California Fair Elections Act, would establish a voluntary pilot project for California's secretary of state races in 2014 and 2018. Candidates will be allowed to qualify for public financing if they agree to strict spending prohibitions and raise a large number of $5 contributions from Californians. If established, this pilot program would be funded primarily by fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms and lobbyist employers, who have some of the lowest fees in the country. The initiative aims to mitigate the influence of big donors and special interests in elections so that voters can start to feel that the government works for their benefit instead of that of big campaign contributors.

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