Offering Support For 'Clean Election' Laws

By Nick Nyhart, Letter to the Editor

The Union-Tribune's position against Proposition 89 is unfortunate and misguided (“No on Prop. 89/It's badly written, unconstitutional and futile,†Editorial, Aug. 24). Proposition 89, also known as “Clean Elections†in the seven states and two municipalities that currently have it as law, gives candidates a chance to run for office without being in the pocket of high-powered lobbyists and well-heeled campaign donors.

As executive director of Public Campaign, I believe Proposition 89 will offer qualified candidates a public grant to run their campaign once they qualify by collecting a set number of $5 contributions. And repeatedly, state and federal courts have ruled the system constitutional.

In Maine and Arizona, where their statewide systems have been up and running since 2000, Clean Elections has become the norm. Currently, 10 of 11 statewide office-holders in Arizona, including the governor, and more than 75 percent of Maine lawmakers ran and won with public funding. Clean Elections promotes a greater diversity of people running for office and more competition.

Meaningful, common-sense campaign reforms do work. Californians can take heart that Clean Elections is a proven system that will bring change to politics. By passing Proposition 89, California will make elections about voters, not big campaign contributors.

Washington, D.C.

See the article on San Diego Union-Tribune website

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