By Joe Ely, Letter to the Editor
Gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides dramatically
sharpened the contrast between his campaign and that of his
Republican opponent when he endorsed Proposition 89, the
clean election measure on the November ballot.
One of its major elements is the enactment of full public
campaign financing, also called clean money.
Clean money will enable qualified candidates for state
office who are not wealthy, and who do not have very
wealthy supporters, to have a good chance of getting
elected. These clean-money candidates, who must forego all
financing from any private source (even their own pockets),
can have their campaigns fully financed from a special
state fund after demonstrating a solid base of voter
That support is earned by gathering a specified number of
signatures, accompanied by a $5 donation to the public
This voluntary clean-money system has been highly
successful in Arizona and Maine, where it has resulted in
more than 10 percent greater voter participation, because
the people in those states know that they can elect
candidates who will be obligated only to the voters, not
their very wealthy donors.
Furthermore, clean-money candidates do not have to spend
half their time begging for contributions, as their
privately financed counterparts do.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gained office by condemning
pay-to-play politics. He said, "The money comes in. The
favors go out. The people lose." Since then, he's made his
pay-to-play predecessors look like amateurs. Prop. 89 will
shift power from wealthy special interests to the voters. I
applaud Angelides for supporting it.
See the article on Contra Costa Times website