Vote Yes on Proposition 15 ‘ The California Fair Elections Act – DEFEATED by a vote of 57.5% no to 42.5% yes

Proposition 15 was defeated by a vote of 42.5% to 57.5%.

Prop 15 takes the “for sale” sign off the Capitol

Consumers face an uphill battle in Sacramento where big insurance, oil, drug companies and other wealthy industries open their checkbooks wide for politicians. Candidates have spent a billion dollars since 2001, much of it from big businesses that put profits ahead of consumer protection.f

Prop 15 is a public finance pilot project for candidates for Secretary of State. Candidates who demonstrate a strong base of grassroots support qualify for funding, allowing them to campaign on the issues, instead of catering to special interest donors.

Prop 15 does not increase taxes. Campaigns would be funded primarily by registration
fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms, and lobbyist employers. Currently lobbyists only pay
$12.50 per year in California, among the lowest rates in the country.

Organizations Supporting Prop 15 (Partial List)

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal
Employees (AFSCME)
California Clean Money Campaign
Common Cause
California Primary Care Association
California Nurses
Consumer Federation of California
Equal Justice
League of Women Voters of California
Sierra Club

Newspaper Editorial Boards Say “Yes on Prop 15”

“The beauty of Proposition 15 is that it targets an oce that should be well insulated from fundraising dependence on parties and interest groups… We recommend passage of Prop. 15.”

– San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial April 24, 2010

Fresno Bee Editorial:“Californians should vote “yes” on Proposition 15.”
La Opinion Editorial: “Vote Yes on Proposition 15!”
Los Angeles Times Editorial: “Proposition 15’s idea to levy a fee on lobbyists to fund political campaigns is worth a try.”
San Jose Mercury News Editorial: “There’s no doubt that this is worth trying. Vote yes on Proposition 15.”

How the California Fair Elections Act Works


The California Fair Elections Act is based on a tried and true system that has been tested in seven states.  In those states that have adopted fair elections systems:
‘    Voter turnout has increased because citizens know their votes really matter;
‘    Elections have become more competitive as more candidates with more new ideas are able to run for office and win;
‘    Voters and candidates alike give high marks to fair elections because they mean issues, not campaign donations, are front and center.

About the California Fair Elections Act

The California Fair Elections Act will create a pilot project to make voluntary public financing available to candidates running for Secretary of State in 2014 and 2018.

‘    To Qualify:  Secretary of State candidates must show broad grassroots support by receiving 7,500 $5 qualifying contributions and signatures from registered California voters.  They must also agree to strict spending limits.
‘    Fair Elections Candidates Receive:  Enough Fair Elections funds to run competitive primary campaigns ($1,000,000).  If they win their primary they receive enough funds to run competitive general election campaigns ($1,300,000).  A candidate may also receive ‘fair fight’ funds if they are outspent or if outside groups attack them or support an opponent.
‘    Fundraising Prohibitions:  Participating candidates would be prohibited from raising or spending money beyond what they receive from the fund.  They are banned from raising any money for their campaign from lobbyists, their clients, or anybody else.
‘    Strict Enforcement:  Participating candidates must follow strict reporting requirements and can only spend on legitimate campaign expenses. Violators would face fines, possible jail time, and prohibitions from running for office in the future.

Why the Secretary of State?

The Secretary of State is responsible for overseeing and regulating the state’s lobbying activity and the integrity of our elections, and the California Fair Elections Act will assure voters that the Secretary of State is focusing on his or her duties, not worrying about raising campaign contributions.

Get the campaign’s two page fact sheet or just check out their site today!

For more information you can also check out articles on our broken campaign finance system written by CFC’s Richard Holober and Zack Kaldveer.