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Bay Area Council Endorses Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform Supports Stop Special Interest Money Now Initiative

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on April 25, 2012

I just heard from the Stop Special Interest Money Now Campaign on some big news (Full Disclosure: Custom Campaigns is doing consulting work on the campaign). Apparently the campaign received the endorsement from the Bay Area Council.

This is a sign of some serious momentum from the campaign and it will be exciting to see the campaign unfold over the next few months.

Here is the press release:

Let’s Start Taking Back California

Bay Area Council Endorses Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform Supports Stop Special Interest Money Now Initiative

(SACRAMENTO, CA)—Today, the Stop Special Interest Money Now campaign welcomed the endorsement of the Bay Area Council, a reform minded public-policy advocacy organization representing businesses from the Bay Area.

Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council is widely respected by policy makers and other civic leaders. The Council’s endorsement of the Stop Special Interest Money Now follows their involvement in other broad-based reform coalitions that led to the passage of Redistricting Reform (Proposition 11), Open Primaries (Proposition 14), and Congressional Redistricting (Proposition 20).

The Bay Area Council joins long-time Californian and former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and a growing grassroots coalition of voters, taxpayers, and small businesses in support of this initiative that will fundamentally reform the state’s campaign finance system—a system at the root of Sacramento’s dysfunction.

“The Bay Area Council believes representative government works when elected officials can provide leadership without undue pressure and influence from interest groups,“ said Bay Area Council President Jim Wunderman. “We do not have that kind of system today, and California deserves better. Money is a core cause of the problem. The Bay Area Council has proudly stood up for bold reforms to shake up the status quo and this is another step in the right direction. Stop Special Interest Money Now offers a profound and fair campaign finance reform, and brave Californians need to stand up and support it.”

According to the nonpartisan Fair Political Practices Commission, the top 15 special interest groups have spent more than $1 billion on influencing the political process in California over the past ten years while the state’s fiscal and economic climate has reached historic lows.

According to Maplight.org, 79% of campaign contributions made to California’s legislators now come from donors who live outside their districts. At the same time, more than 40 percent of the legislation introduced in Sacramento is written by special interest lobbyists, and these bills are much more likely to become law.

The Stop Special Interest Money Now initiative addresses the problem of special interests across the board by curbing special interest power and taking money out of politics. It will:

1) ban both corporate and labor union contributions to state and local candidates

2) prohibit government contractors from contributing to state and local officials who can award them contracts

3) bar corporations, government employers, and labor unions from collecting funds from employees by payroll deduction and using that money for politics.

The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act will appear on the November 2012 ballot.

For more information on the initiative, please visit

http://www.stopspecialinterestmoney.org.

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