Lack of Funds Spells Defeat

By Joe Ely, Letter to the Editor

The Feb. 1 "From the Capitol," article in the Times, which was mostly about the murky subject of campaign financing in California, stated, "A healthy campaign treasury hardly guarantees victory, but a lack of funds can often spell defeat."

Democratic and Republican candidates for governor have already each raised millions of dollars for the election in 2010. Many of those donations are for multi-thousands of dollars and come from wealthy special interests and their lobbyists who expect, and often receive, huge paybacks for their investments at the expense of taxpayers, consumers, workers and even investors.

The same article quotes one would-be candidate, state schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell, who says, "We're trying to put it together for governor, but it's regrettable that it's so costly and so expensive, and I'm not a millionaire."

This is why we so badly need full public financing in California and U.S. elections, so that highly qualified candidates who aren't millionaires and don't have millionaire friends, and who don't want to trade favors for big special interest donations can have a fighting chance to work solely for the public interest.

Other states already provide full public financing and their people would never go back to our pay-to-play system.

President Barack Obama says, "Let's make government work." I would add, "for the people."

Joe Ely

See the article on Contra Costa Times website

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