‘No’ on Proposition 15 Sweetly Targets Measure’s Author
“Clean Money” Author Invites Lobbyists to $3900 Lunch
FOR RELEASE: March 24, 2010
CONTACT: Richard Wiebe, 916.448.4234
SACRAMENTO – The state senator who wrote Proposition 15, “to break the connection between political donations and public policy” broke bread with lobbyists and other political players at a fundraiser her campaign committee hosted today at a Sacramento steakhouse.
Opponents of Prop 15 provided dessert, (as shown above) which was delivered to the Hancock fundraiser.
Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), who doesn’t face reelection until 2012, invited Sacramento lobbyists to Chops Restaurant for a “sponsor” contribution of $3,900 – the maximum amount any individual may contribute to a single election campaign. Tickets are also available for $1,000.
“Even by Sacramento standards, the hypocrisy is astonishing,” said Richard Wiebe, spokesperson for StopProp15.com. “She’s taking full advantage of the system she characterizes as the root of all that is evil in the Capitol.”
The state Legislature put Prop 15 on the June ballot when it passed AB 583 in 2008, authored by then-Assemblywoman Hancock. Proposition 15 repeals the voter-approved ban on public financing of campaigns and imposes a new tax on lobbyists, lobbying firms and lobbyist employers to pay for a pilot program that would use public money to finance campaigns for Secretary of State.
While the pilot program sunsets after two election cycles, the ban on public campaign financing is repealed permanently.
The Legislature, which wrote the ballot label, neglected to mention that fact, but a Superior Court judge recently ordered that Prop 15’s ballot label point out – in the first sentence – that it, “Repeals ban on public financing of political campaigns.”
“Proposition 15 would not stop politicians from raising money from lobbyists and special interest groups,” Wiebe said. “It explicitly allows politicians to raise money for ‘separate accounts’ to pay for things like legal defense fees, inaugural parties and officeholder expenses. Nor does it address independent expenditure campaigns, which undermine campaign finance laws, according to the FPPC and many others.”
California voters have already rejected public campaign financing in no uncertain terms. Just four years ago, 74 percent of voters opposed Proposition 89. In 2000, two-thirds of voters said NO to public campaign financing when they defeated Proposition 25.
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