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California’s Leading Reform Organizations to Chair California Fair Elections Campaign

Press Release Press Release, 1/11/10

Contact Information | Media Center

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2010

SACRAMENTO, CA -- The California Fair Elections campaign today announced that the League of Women Voters of California, the California Clean Money Action Fund, California Common Cause, and the California Nurses Association will co-chair the campaign to pass the California Fair Elections Act on the June 8, 2010 ballot.  Authored by Loni Hancock and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the ballot measure would establish a voluntary pilot public financing program for the 2014 and 2018 Secretary of State races.  
 
“We are thrilled to have the League of Women Voters, the California Clean Money Action Fund, California Common Cause and the California Nurses Association leading our campaign to pass the California Fair Elections Act which will enable our elected officials to stay focused on their priorities, rather than spending all their time fundraising,” said Trent Lange, chairman of Californians for Fair Elections.  “With more than three in four California voters saying they want to change the way elections are financed, it is clear that the California Fair Elections Campaign begins 2010 in a strong position.”
 
"Nurses increasingly feel we cannot take care of our patients the way they deserve without curbing the influence of big money donors,” said Zenei Cortez, RN, Co-President of the California Nurses Association.  “Real health care reform will only be achieved when elected officials are representing voters, not industry lobbyists.  That's why we support the California Fair Elections Act.”
 
If passed, the California Fair Elections Act would impose strict reporting requirements and prohibitions on campaign spending for participating candidates.  Participating candidates would be banned from raising or spending money beyond the limited public financing.  Violators would face fines, possible jail time, and prohibitions from running for office in the future.

“We’ve known for a while that voters are mad as hell about big money in political campaigns,” said Derek Cressman, spokesman for Common Cause. “Now Californians can do something about it by creating a system to allow candidates to run for office without begging for huge contributions, while having strict enforcement of campaign spending limits.”

"From schools, to job growth, to health care, California has many serious problems to fix,” said Janis R. Hirohama, President of the League of Women Voters of California.  “We strongly support the California Fair Elections Act to get politicians out of the fundraising game so that they will focus on our state’s priorities."

For more information please visit http://www.yesfairelections.org/.

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