Passing Bill Will Help Clean Up Elections

By Joe Ely, Letter to the Editor

There couldn't be a more telling description about what elections are all about today than Bonita Brewer's article in the Feb. 9 Times about bickering Democrat state Senate candidates in the 10th district. There's not a word about policy or ideas. It's all about the money they've raised, as if that were the only qualification for being elected.

Sadly, under the current system of campaign funding, it is certainly the most important qualification.

These huge campaign war chests, in the high six, or even seven figures, don't come from ordinary folks. Over 90 percent come from PACs and corporations, which are very often paying in advance for special favors.

This problem plagues all candidates of all parties. This is unhealthy for our democracy and for our economy.

Last month, our Assembly passed Assembly Bill 583 for a voluntary system of full public campaign financing for state candidates, called Clean Money, thanks to brave leadership by Assemblymembers Loni Hancock and Johan Klehs, and a strong grassroots effort by ordinary people.

Clean Money will make votes matter more than big money in elections and allow candidates to work for the common good.

The bill is now in the state Senate, where an even mightier effort will be needed for passage.

Clean Money is working in several state and local governments, and is urgently needed in California.

Joe Ely


See the article on Contra Costa Times website

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