'Clean Money' Opens Doors

By Tom Mullens, Letter to the Editor

Sveiven apparently hasn't read the actual proposals to bring clean money to California politics.

His first objection is that people can't give money to the candidate of their choice. Participation in a clean-money campaign is voluntary. If you think the only way to get elected is to buy your way into office, you have the option to do just that.

I'm also not sure which problems Sveiven expects the courts to clean up.

Is it the one of elected officials spending 80 percent of their campaign time seeking contributions rather than talking to voters?

Is it individuals and corporations who have business before elected bodies being their biggest campaign contributors?

Finally, Sveiven raises the bureaucrat as a bogeyman argument. The California Clean Money bill working in the Legislature has only one job for bureaucrats, and that's counting signatures and $5 bills. If a candidate can persuade a minimum number of fellow citizens to support him with a signature and a $5 donation, he's on the ballot. You still have to meet the usual requirements of age, residency, etc., but the County Clerk's Office will decide who qualifies for the ballot, just as it does now.

The system that, according to Sveiven, "has worked so well for this country" leaves most of its citizens without the opportunity to serve and hold elective office.

People who care deeply about their communities and have great ideas and admirable values but have to work for a living don't run for office in our current system. That's left to a financial elite while the rest of us are left on the sidelines wondering if our interests are truly being represented.

Making California a clean-money state will give thousands more Californians the chance to find out.

â€" Tom Mullens,Thousand Oaks

See the article on Ventura County Star website

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