With the Jack Abramoff scandal and still sagging approval ratings as a backdrop, it seems lawmakers may be ready to at least consider public financing of campaigns.
The Assembly’s cleared the way for further discussion of Democratic Assemblymember Loni Hancock’s proposal. It’s a voluntary system that says: If a candidate can raise a certain number of small contributions from people in the district, he or she will get a set amount of public funds…and in exchange will not take money from elsewhere – including their own wallets.
"This allows candidates to spend their time talking with the people they seek to represent.”
Hancock says her bill sets up a conference committee to hash out details, such as just where the money will come from – and constitutional concerns that some lawmakers have. Voters would ultimately have to approve the plan.