The subject of campaign finance reform has been for a while. The McCain-Feingold Bill was first introduced in 1995 but took seven years to ultimately pass. Some of its key features were watered down in order to get more support. The Supreme Court decision this January struck down some key elements of the McCain-Feingold Bill.
Many people continue to fight for clean money campaigns. The California Clean Money Campaign has managed to get Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act, on the ballot this June. This measure would create a pilot program that would apply only to the California Secretary of State election. Candidates would have to qualify for the pilot project by gathering 7,500 donations of $5.00 each from registered voters.
Qualified candidates would then receive funds to run a competitive primary campaign. Winners of the primary then receive funding to fight the general election. The candidate also receives “fair fight” funding if another candidate comes in and outspends them. There are strict fund-raising prohibitions for those that choose to accept these funds. Incredibly, the measure will not increase taxes. It will be funded by increases in lobbyist fees.
Proposition 15 has widespread support being endorsed by a variety of groups and politicians including the League of Women Voters, AFSCME, the Sierra Club and our State Senator Ellen Corbett.
You can read more about the measure at http://www.yesfairelections.org/.
One of the key elements of my campaign will be clean money financing. Fremont’s campaigns have been funded largely by developers and related interests. Not surprisingly, our Council has historically made decisions that are good for developers but not for our city. For example, housing is known for costing California cities in the long run due to Proposition 13. Yet Fremont has an abundance of housing and a dearth of quality retail and employment sectors. I believe this is the key reason are city is facing its current financial troubles.