Clean Campaigns Require Clean Money

By David Greene, Letter to the Editor

Regarding your editorial against Prop. 89 on Aug. 27 ("Prop. 89 won't clean up election campaigns"):

First of all, I want to thank you for recognizing the problem of wealthy individuals and well-heeled special interests having too much influence over government. The solutions you propose, more transparency and better enforcement, are included in Prop. 89. However, better enforcement won't improve the situation when the rules currently favor those interests. Transparency is important to good government. But where have we seen influence reduced because of transparency? The "solutions" you propose are improvements but have not proved to be solutions.

What has proved to be effective in increasing voter turnout, political participation, and reducing the increase in campaign spending and special interest influence has been clean money.

The voluntary public financing proposition is modeled after laws in Maine and Arizona and is strengthened by existing interpretations of campaign law and the scrutiny of various legislative committees before it was introduced as a ballot measure. The text of the measure is clear. The $5 donations, that only clean money candidates need to demonstrate support, must come from eligible voters from within the district.

Prop. 89 is fair because it limits all special interests, including unions. That may be why the California Teachers Association opposes it as well as many corporate donors. They do not like it that their clout that comes from writing a check will be diminished.

This is the choice: resign yourself to a system that does not serve your interests or have a system where candidates will voluntarily forswear special interest money. Give yourself and our democracy the clean money choice.

DAVID GREENE
San Pedro


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