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Nurses Promote Support of “Clean Money” Initiative

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Aired 4/19/09

Members of the California Nurses Association are hitting the streets this week, to promote the so-called “Clean Money” initiative known as Prop 89. Nurses say the measure would reduce corporate influence on California campaigns. But critics say Prop 89 is unfair. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story. 

UCSD nurse Geri Jenkins says California campaigns are awash with corporate cash. She says it’s time to clean things up.

Jenkins: In the last five years, the big money players in California have contributed $1.7 billion to the political process, and so far this year on one initiative there’s been $100 million spent. So we think it’s time to limit some of that, and give people more of a chance to have their voices heard.

Prop 89 would place a $10,000 limit on the amount of money corporations could give to ballot initiatives. The measure would also allow candidates who forgo private contributions to get public financing of their campaigns.                        

Robin Swanson is with the No on 89 campaign. She says the measure has a big loophole.

Swanson: Wealthy individuals are allowed to give as much as they want to their own campaigns. And not only that, to their own ballot measures and pet initiatives.

What’s more, Swanson says Prop 89’s limits on corporations are unfair.

Swanson:  If you’re going to take away power from one side, you need to take it away from all sides. And it just creates a very un-level playing field.

The prospects for Prop 89 look bleak. One recent poll reveals only 25 percent of likely voters are in favor of it. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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