Yes on Prop. 89

By Joe Ely, Letter to the Editor

The title of the article in the Oct. 9 Times, titled "Odd coalition opposes 'clean money' measure," spells out the issue. The opponents of Proposition 89 have little in common, except for one attribute. They are wealthy corporate interests, politicians and even unions who all want to continue to exchange special favors, at public expense, for campaign contributions.

But their arguments against Prop. 89 have been totally debunked by long-standing results in Arizona and Maine, where the Clean Money system has been in effect since 2000.

One can tell a lot about a proposition from looking at its supporters and its enemies. Prop. 89 supporters include the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, California Public Interest Research Group, the Sierra Club, AARP-California, the California Nurses Association and many other public interest and good government groups (see a list at

On the other hand, the biggest opposition funders are insurance companies (45 percent), Chevron Oil (17 percent), real estate (16 percent) and the Chamber of Commerce (8 percent).

The $200 million cost of Prop. 89 would be financed by raising the tax rate on corporate profits from 8.84 percent back to 9.04 percent, which was the rate that existed from 1980 to 1996.

That cost would be greatly exceeded in taxpayer savings that would be possible when wealthy special interests and their lobbyists lose their power to buy favors from government leaders in Sacramento.

We must do this at the state level, by the initiative process, before we can get Congress to follow suit.

Vote yes on 89.

Joe Ely

See the article on Contra Costa Times website

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