CFC Endorses Prop 89 – The “Clean Money” Initiative


Immediate Release: Contact: Zack Kaldveer (650) 375-7846

Group cites role of big business money in buying politicians,
bankrolling ballot measures, and defeating consumer protection

The Consumer Federation of California (
endorsed Proposition 89 (the "Clean Money" Initiative), citing the
increasingly corrosive role corporate campaign contributions play in
shaping public policy ‘ benefiting the narrow interests of big business
to the detriment of consumers.

CFC’s Executive Director Richard Holober stated, "All too often,
consumer protection legislation is defeated in Sacramento by
politicians who are beholden to the big business interests that
bankroll their electoral campaigns. Proposition 89 would help reduce
the influence of corporate campaign contributions on elected officials.
It will help to decrease the use of the ballot initiative as a vehicle
for big business to enact legislation, and help restore the initiative
to its original purpose as an expression of the people’s will."
The "Clean Money" system of public financing of elections is similar to
those already adopted in Maine and Arizona.

The proposed initiative
would allow candidates who garner a substantial number of small
contributions and agree not to accept PAC money, to receive full public
financing of their campaign. States that have adopted the ‘Clean Money’
system have seen lower overall campaign spending, candidates freed from
around the clock fundraising, and increased voter turnout.

In supporting Prop 89, CFC cited two recent examples in which corporate
contributions played a clear role in defeating consumer protection laws
overwhelmingly supported by the public. In one such case, the
telecommunication industry contributed in excess of $300,000 to the ten
members of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee (Source: CA
Secretary of State Website).

Despite the support of 87% of California
voters, the committee killed telephone consumer protection legislation
(SB 1068, AB 2622) that would have restored the right to cancel a new
cell phone contract without being subjected to outrageous cancellation
Similarly, during an 18 month period in 2001 and 2002, banks,
insurers and other industry opponents of financial privacy legislation
contributed $8.8 million to state politicians, resulting in the killing
of SB 773 (Source: San Francisco Chronicle, September 7, 2002).

Corporate contributions defeated financial privacy legislation that
enjoyed the support of 90% of California voters.
The Consumer Federation of California is a non-profit organization, established in 1960, that advocates for consumer protection laws and regulations.