Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Clean Money Qualifies for the Ballot

Clean Money Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot
Hancock announces she will drop her legislation
Assemblywoman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) will be available to comment on today's announcement by Secretary of State Bruce McPherson that the "Clean Money" initiative has qualified for the November ballot. Assemblywoman Hancock is the author of a similar legislative proposal, AB 583, which is currently in the Senate Elections Committee.

According to the Secretary of State, the initiative submitted by the California Nurses Association has garnered more than the 411,000 signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot. As a result, Hancock announced she will drop her legislation so government reform groups can focus on the ballot measure.

The "Clean Money" system of public financing of elections is similar to those already adopted in Maine and Arizona. The legislation and the proposed initiative allow any candidate who raises a substantial number of small contributions from individuals residing in the district and agrees not to accept special interest money, will receive full public financing of their campaign.

"The public has lost faith in California's electoral process. Poll after poll show voters think campaign contributions have a corrosive effect on public policy decisions. Clean Money will reform the electoral system and re-establish trust with the voters. I believe it is time to return the democratic process to the voters," said Hancock.

A poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California in November found 64% of likely voters believe that campaign contributions have had a negative effect on the public policy decisions being made in Sacramento. In May, a PPIC poll on campaign finance reform & public financing of campaigns showed that 51% of likely voters would favor a system of public funding for campaigns even if it cost each taxpayer a few dollars a year to run.

"Ultimately, Clean Money is an idea whose time has come," concluded Hancock.