Make elections fair

By Jay Kapitz, Letter to the Editor

The amount of money in politics is outrageous. Since 2000, more than $1 billion has been raised by California politicians. A recent Public Policy Institute of California poll said that our state government is "pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves" rather than "for the benefit of all the people." Special interests get access and average citizens are shut out. We need to get our elected officials back to representing us. We now have a chance to fix this corrupt system! The California Legislature has passed, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed, Assembly Bill 583, which places the California Fair Elections Act on the California June ballot.

The California Fair Elections Act is a pilot program for the secretary of state elections in 2014 and 2018, and puts California on the path for elections that money can't buy.

Similar systems were passed with bipartisan support and are already in place and working in seven other states. The California Fair Elections Act secretary of state will require participating candidates to show broad grass-roots support by receiving 7,500 $5 qualifying contributions and signatures from registered California voters. They must also agree to strict spending limits.

The California Fair Elections Act is funded primarily by registration fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms and lobbyist employers, with no taxpayer dollars going to candidates. Currently, lobbyists only pay $12.50 per year in California, among the lowest rates in the country.

Let's get politicians out of the fundraising game and back to solving California's problems. Sixty-three percent of the public supports the idea of fair elections, including 59 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats! Grass-roots groups are forming in Ventura County to support fair elections.

- Jay Kapitz, Oak Park


See the article on Ventura County Star website



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