Reform we need

By Trent Lange, Letter to the Editor

The Sun's article "Pair of reports highlight campaign contributions" (July 6) illustrates some of the problems California's current money-driven campaign system presents for our democracy.

Now, let's talk about solutions.

Californians have the opportunity to begin getting politicians out of the money game by passing the California Fair Elections Act on next June's ballot. Authored by Sen. Loni Hancock and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, the California Fair Elections Act is based on the simple notion that elected officials should be accountable to the voters, not donors.

The California Fair Elections Act would establish a voluntary pilot project for California's Secretary of State races in 2014 and 2018, allowing candidates to qualify for public financing if they agree to strict spending prohibitions and show they have a broad base of support by raising a large number of $5 contributions from Californians.

The pilot program would be funded primarily by fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms, and lobbyist employers, with no taxpayer dollars going to candidates.

As The Sun pointed out, our current system gives a distinct advantage to candidates who raise the most money - regardless of whether they are best suited to serve the public. The California Fair Elections Act would begin to level the playing field and ensure elections are about ideas, not money.

The California Fair Elections Act represents the change voters want, and the reform California needs.

President, California Clean Money Action Fund

See the article on San Bernardino Sun 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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