Frustrated with Politics-As-Usual, Voters Ready to Act

* New survey shows electorate strongly backs California Fair Elections Act on June 2010 ballot

By Press Release

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Contrasting sharply with a recent Field Poll which said voters are deeply frustrated with the Governor and state legislature but are unsure of proposed solutions that would get California back on track, a new statewide survey shows that voters are ready to change the way California politicians finance their election campaigns by approving the California Fair Elections Act on the June 2010 ballot. In a statewide survey of 800 likely voters, 63 percent of survey respondents said they would support the California Fair Elections Act if the election were held now.? Strong support was voiced from voters of all parties and every region of the state.

On Thursday, David Mermin of Lake Research joined Fair Elections Campaign Chairman Trent Lange and representatives of the California Nurses Association and California Common Cause to discuss the survey's findings.? Mermin said of the survey, "It's no secret that voters are frustrated with politics-as-usual, and our survey shows clearly that voters of every political party and every region of the state are ready to act to bring fair elections to California. Eight months ahead of the June 2010 election, the campaign to pass the California Fair Elections Act starts from an extremely solid base of support and is poised to pick up strength as voters learn more about the measure."

"Voters know that California will be stronger when our elections are fairly won, not bought," said Trent Lange, Chairman, Californians for Fair Elections. "The California Fair Elections Act is based on the simple notion that elected officials should be accountable to the voters, not donors and special interests."

A statewide survey conducted by leading national research firm Lake Research Partners shows voters strongly support the California Fair Elections Act on the June 2010 ballot by a nearly three-to-one margin. After hearing positive and negative messages about the proposal, voter support for the measure increased to 69%. What's more, the survey found that solid majority support for the California Fair Elections Act extends across all parties and regions of the state. Democrats (65% Yes, 18% No), independents (65% Yes, 22% No) and Republicans (59% Yes, 27% No) all support the ballot measure by lopsided margins. The measure has majority support in all regions of California, with particularly strong support in the Bay Area (67% Yes) and Los Angeles (68% Yes).

"We've known for a while that voters are mad as hell about big money in political campaigns," said Derek Cressman, spokesman for Common Cause. "This survey shows us that Californians are now ready to do something about it by creating a system to allow candidates to run for office without begging for huge contributions and under strict enforcement of campaign spending limits."

Authored by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the measure asks voters to establish a voluntary pilot project for California's Secretary of State races in 2014 and 2018, allowing candidates to qualify for public financing, with no taxpayer dollars going to candidates, if they agree to strict spending prohibitions and show they have a broad base of support by raising a large number of $5 contributions from Californians.

Survey respondents cited the Act's strict reporting requirements and penalties to deter campaign finance abuses as important reasons to vote for the June 2010 initiative.

A PowerPoint presentation of the poll can be found at .

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

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