Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Several legislators and citizen groups gathered today in Sacramento to promote a system of public financing of campaign similar to what is used in Arizona. Assemblywoman Loni Hancock has introduced a bill (AB 2949) that would give candidates to option of forgoing all private funds and instead using public money for their campaigns.
Mark Spitzer, a Corporation Commissioner from Arizona who ran for office under a clean money system wholeheartedly endorsed the concept. Prior to Arizona's adoption of campaign finance reform, Spitzer said that 40 to 60 lobbyists raised all the money for candidate campaigns, giving them great influence over who could run successfully for office. He said that they had in-effect "hijacked the political process."
TheRestofUs.org issued a news release showing that in the last California election, the candidate who raised the most money won an astounding 97.5% of the time. Providing candidates who don't take special interest money with public funds would be one way to help level the playing field.