Public Financing Works
Your editorial on Proposition 89, the Public Campaign
Financing Initiative, neglected to mention that similar
laws have been working successfully to eliminate corruption
in Arizona and Maine since 2000. Both states strictly limit
contributions and offer public financing to candidates who
take no large contributions from anyone, just like Prop.
In Maine, 78 percent of the state legislators have used
public financing to win office. This makes them accountable
to the voters, not wealthy contributors. The same goes for
half the legislators in Arizona, and 10 of the 11 statewide
elected officials there, including Gov. Janet Napolitano.
Public financing has made it possible for new candidates
with new ideas, but little money, to challenge incumbents
who previously had no opposition.
This year, both Gov. Napolitano and her Republican opponent
are voluntarily using public financing, which both limits
and equalizes their campaign funding. Neither can take any
large contributions from anyone. At the same time, in both
Arizona and Maine, public financing has discouraged wealthy
candidates from buying their way into office, because they
know their public-financed opponents will get matching
The experience of Arizona and Maine shows that public
financing with contribution limits really delivers on the
promise of fair elections and candidates unbossed by
lobbyists and special interests. These laws have withstood
challenges to their constitutionality. In California, by
contrast, whoever has the most money almost always wins.
And todayâ€™s loophole-ridden campaign
finance laws ensure that â€œthe money
comes in, the favors go out,â€ as
then-candidate Schwarzenegger put it in 2003.
Itâ€™s time to change this corrupt
system. Vote yes on 89.
See the article on San Francisco Examiner website