Public financing

By Jay Ashford, Letter to the Editor

IN MY mind, there's a clear reason why California taxpayers are shouldering the brunt of the budget burden while businesses in the state are not being asked to make any additional financial sacrifices:

Big businesses can afford to hire lobbyists, who write checks and pressure our lawmakers to craft legislation that is suitable to their clients' interests.

In fact, it was recently reported that lobbyists spent $553 million during the past two year legislative session, and that registered lobbyists now outnumber state lawmakers 8 to 1.

So, in the fight between those of us who work all week to make a living and those whose workweek is spent canvassing the halls of our state Legislature with checkbooks in hand, is it any wonder that the pros get what they want at our expense?

Since it can cost more than $1 million to run for a state Assembly seat these days, some legislators must raise on average of $10,000 per week, every week, during their two-year terms to have a realistic shot at re-election.

Where do they get that kind of money? You guessed it.

Until we enact full public financing of elections for all of our state legislators, which has been calculated to cost a mere $6 per voter per year, we taxpayers can expect to remain on the losing end of this game for years to come.

Jay Ashford

See the article on Oakland Tribune website

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

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