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Nurses, Fair Elections Advocates to Deliver “Prop. 15 Disinfectant Cleanser” to Lobbyists

Press Release Press Release, 3/9/10

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Nurses Shine Light as “Lobbyists for Lobbyists” Threaten “to Spend Millions of Dollars” to Block Election Reforms

WHAT: This Wednesday, Registered Nurses and advocates for fair elections will deliver a case of “Prop. 15 disinfectant cleanser” to a group sworn to defeating the campaign-finance initiative.  The “lobbyists for lobbyists” have promised to spend “millions of dollars”* to block this effort to clean up money in politics, and have even sued to knock the initiative off the ballot and deny voters their say.

RNs—in signature matching scrubs—will deliver the cleanser, along with the text of Prop. 15, to  the offices of the secretary of the Institute of Governmental Advocates (IGA), which is working to defeat this campaign finance reform and maintain lobbyists’ chokehold over California government. Prop. 15 would launch a pilot program of fair money elections for the office of Secretary of State, to change the way we finance elections and get politicians out of the fundraising game.

WHEN:  Wednesday, March 10, 11:45 a.m.

WHERE: 1215 K Street, Sacramento—outside the offices of the California Healthcare Association, whose senior lobbyist, Connie Delgado Alvarez, is also the secretary of the Institute of Governmental Advocates.

WHO: The California Nurses Association, joined by Californians for Fair Elections, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Consumer Federation of California, and everyday citizens who have been shut out of the political process.

WHY: “We have the lobbyist for the hospital industry also pitching in to defeat Prop. 15’s efforts to change the way we finance elections and impose stricter requirements on fundraising.  That should speak volumes—by day the hospital industry lobbies to lift seismic safety standards on hospitals, and by night it lobbies to keep our broken political system,” said Malinda Markowitz, RN, co-President of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee. 

“The corrosive influence of corporate money in the state capitol undermines every piece of legislation consumers care about – from making health care more affordable for everyone, to ensuring the food we eat and products we buy are safe, to preventing predatory lenders from ripping off the public,” said Zack Kaldveer, spokesperson for the Consumer Federation of California. "Californians lose when big money donors dominate our elections. Proposition 15 is a critical first step in repairing our broken campaign finance system."

“California is facing serious challenges, from education to water to our huge budget deficit. We want our elected leaders to focus on finding solutions to those problems, not on financing their next campaign! Under Prop. 15, candidates and elected officials will be able to get out of the money game and get down to the business of governing,” said Trudy Schafer, League of Women Voters of California Senior Program Director.

"Under a fair elections system, elected officials truly represent voters, not campaign donors," said Trent Lange, chairman of the Yes on Proposition 15:  Californians for Fair Elections. "Public financing has freed elected officials across the country to pass bi-partisan, groundbreaking legislation that is only possible when our leaders do not fear retribution from powerful special interests."

POLLING OVERVIEW: An October poll of 800 California voters by Lake Research Partners found widespread support for Proposition 15, with 63% supporting the initiative, only 22% opposed, and 16% undecided.  This lead reflects widespread public dissatisfaction with 74% calling for changes to how elections are financed (47% of whom call for “major” changes, 27% for “minor changes,” only 11% support no changes and 15% do not know).

*Sacramento Bee, 11-8-09

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