Clean Money

By Joe Ely, Letter to the Editor

The message on the March 23 Times front page read: "Westly sets funding pace" is loud and clear. The only qualification for seeking high office in California is that a candidate be very wealthy and or have a lot of very wealthy friends.

This means that the very wealthy will decide our health care, environmental, labor, and all other policies, because they paid the freight for our political leaders.

The voter gets to choose from a very short list of those who either owe their souls to big contributors or those who can flat out buy the election from their own huge bankrolls.

The way to fix this mess is with Clean Money, which is a voluntary system of full public financing.

Clean Money has been the way that other states and some cities have been able to pry their elections from the grasp of big money and put voters in control of government.

In Maine, 80 percent of the state legislature ran with public funding and are accountable to only the voters since they passed Clean Money.

In Arizona, that number is more than 50 percent, in addition to the governor and most other elected state officers.

Clean Money in those states has resulted in an expanded list of diverse candidates.

There is a Clean Money bill (AB583) in our state Senate right now. You can learn more about it and urge your state senator to pass AB583 at

Joe Ely


See the article on Contra Costa Times website

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