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Prop. 89: Campaign Finance


Tom Fudge : It would be hard to find a person who’s willing to say California’s system of campaign finance is democracy at its finest. Big money rules in big statewide races, be the contests for elected office or initiative campaigns. And you can be sure that the people contributing campaign money aren’t doing it because they love good government. They contribute to the candidates they think will favor their interests over yours.

That’s why a number of groups, including the state nurse’s union and Common Cause, are backing Proposition 89. It would institute a system of public campaign financing. Supporters say it will usher in a new era of clean campaigns. The state legislative analyst expects the proposition will cost California about 200 million dollars a year. It will be paid for by a new tax on corporations and financial institutions.

Of course, not everyone sees Prop. 89 as Mom and apple pie. They say it will give certain people a leg up in the contest to influence elections. Some say it favors unions over corporations. Others say it favors wealthy individuals over organizations.

  • Susan Lerner, executive director of the California Clean Money Action Fund and supporter of Proposition 89.
  • Ron Nehring , chair of the Republican Party of San Diego and opponent of Proposition 89.

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