Backers call it the “Clean Money Initiative.” It would create a voluntary system of public campaign financing for statewide or legislative races. Qualified candidates would get public dollars after agreeing not to accept private contributions – and they could get more if an opponent does not take public funding. The California Nurses Association has led the effort. Spokesman Charles Idelson:
“They see the consequences and daily fallout of people who are adversely affected by the imbalance in our political system in which the wealthiest interests have undue influence over public policy.”
The public financing would be paid for with a corporate tax increase. California Taxpayers Association President Larry McCarthy says that’s not smart:
“It is very ill-advised for the state to do this. It is, we think, inappropriate to be raising taxes for this purpose.”
McCarthy says an increase in corporate taxes could drive businesses out of the state. The initiative also sets new, lower private campaign contribution limits.