Additional `Letters to the Editor'

By Russ Harden, Letter to the editor

As we watch in disgust, politicians continue to succumb to the temptations of the corrupt candied apples hanging from the money trees of each generation's lobbyists and campaign finance gurus. Of course, lobbyists like Abramoff, those rich enough to buy their services, and the politicians who eat the apples can win or lose. But we, the general public, consistently lose because we aren't even in the game. So, let's shut out everyone who wants to donate more than $5 to anyone's campaign. Let's set up a system which makes larger donations from huge corporations, labor unions, and the filthy rich both bad politics and bad investments! I'm not joking! It's called public campaign financing ("Clean Money").

Arizona, Maine and Connecticut have already adopted bipartisan Clean Money legislation to make public financing of campaigns a reality, and it's working better than even its opponents expected. As stated by Anne Spanier and Judy Cox in the Jan. 5 San Francisco Chronicle Op., "Labor and conservative forces in both states (Maine and Arizona), initially skeptical about the system, now endorse it." Of course no single state needs Clean Money more than California, where the encouraging news is that AB 583 was approved by the Elections Committee last week. Hopefully it will also be approved by the appropriations committee on Wednesday, 1-18. But only as the public learns more about the California Clean Money Campaign (, and voices its support for it to our legislators will the legislation become the reform so needed in California (and eventually nationwide). Clean Money is probably our only way, finally, to chop down the Abramoff trees.

See the article on San Jose Mercury News website

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