Clean Money and Third Parties

By Craig Dunkerley, Letter to the Editor

As Southbay Area Coordinator for the California Clean Money Campaign I wanted to respond to David Yomtov's letter to the editor asking why minor parties have different qualifying requirements for public funding of their campaigns under AB 583, the California Clean Money Act. I think his question is a good one.

The issue is basically one of balance. On the one hand we think it's important to afford smaller political parties a chance to get their message out. On the other hand we want to be responsible and prudent when spending taxpayer dollars.

So the bill doesn't allocate equal amounts of money to all political parties until each demonstrates substantial public support which the bill currently defines as 10% of the vote in the last election. If a smaller party didn't get that many votes they can compensate for that and still qualify for full funding by collecting twice as many signatures...or get partial funding with half the number of signatures required of major party candidates.

The Green Party, for example, believes AB 583 stikes the right balance and they support the bill.

Craig Dunkerley, San Jose

See the article on San Jose Mercury News website

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