Scrubbing the Money

By Kevin McKeown, Letter to the Editor

Santa Monica voters should have the right to be able to “follow the money†in local elections [Re: “Trashing Clean Votes,†Aug. 17].

The elephant no one wants to confront is “independent expenditures,†huge sums spent by shadowy ad hoc committees who do their best not to reveal the source of their funding, or their true agenda, until it is too late for voters to evaluate the questionable credibility of their slick mailers.

These are not the longtime grassroots organizations like Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, who clearly label their campaign messages and make their platform and endorsement decisions in conventions open to the press and the public. The really big money in local politics comes from a few private, unidentified deep pockets, based on secretive back-room decisions.

Real campaign finance reform for Santa Monica should include convening a voter task force and considering clean money, and donation restrictions, and independent expenditures. Such a holistic and integrated approach would truly empower local voters.

Meanwhile, at least all of us Californians can insist on statewide “clean money†when we vote November 7. Clean money already works well in other states, taking the “for sale†sign off the statehouse. Please study the issue and vote for Proposition 89, the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act of 2006.


See the article on Los Angeles City Beat website

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