California Labor Federation Endorses Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act
The 2.1 million member California Labor Federation today
endorsed Proposition 15, the California Fair Election Act.
Proposition 15 is a first step towards slowing the
outrageous amounts of money in politics. The Labor Fed
joins the California Nurses Association, the American
Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
(AFSCME), and the Golden State Jobs Coalition in endorsing
"Working people win with Fair Elections financing, because
voters and volunteers are the currency of elections instead
of big money," said California Labor Federation Executive
Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski. "That's why the California
Labor Fed strongly endorses Proposition 15."
Prop 15 will get politicians out of the fundraising game
and back to solving California's problems, like schools,
the budget crisis, and health care.
"The California Fair Elections Act will help our state
implement real reform of the health care system," said Geri
Jenkins, co-President of the California Nurses Association.
"Nurses know that eliminating the campaign contributions
from the deep-pocket special interests - the HMO's, drug
companies and the insurance industry - that overwhelm our
elections will free our elected representatives to work for
the best interest of Californians and guarantee health care
to all Californians."
Since 2000, over $1 billion has been raised by California
politicians, buying special interests unprecedented access
but shutting out the rest of us. Corporations outspend
unions by up to a 26-1 margin. That's why polls show nearly
four out of five union household support Proposition 15 and
Authored by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) and signed by
Governor Schwarzenegger, the California Fair Elections Act
would establish a voluntary pilot project for California's
Secretary of State races in 2014 and 2018. Candidates would
qualify for public financing if they agree to strict
spending prohibitions and raise a large number of $5
contributions from Californians. The pilot program would be
funded primarily by fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms, and
lobbyist employers, with no taxpayer dollars going to
"By endorsing Proposition 15, the California Labor
Federation joins other union leaders in taking a bold step
toward changing the way we finance election campaigns so
that elected officials truly represent voters, not campaign
donors," said campaign chair Trent Lange. "Nearly 400
candidates from different backgrounds have been elected
with this system in seven states and two cities, showing
that with Fair Elections you don't have to be wealthy or
know wealthy donors to run for office and win."