Measure H (LA) WINS IN LANDSLIDE! - Taxpayers for Honest Government and Fair Elections
UPDATE: Measure H won with an ASTOUNDING 74.98% of the vote!
Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign said it best:
"This was a fantastic coalition victory for campaign finance reform and a first step not only towards full Clean Money for the city of Los Angeles, but for the whole state of California. And hopefully it will send a message to leaders everywhere how strongly the voters demand a change to the way we finance election campaigns!
Measure H only gets us a small step of the way there. But it's a critical step, because by removing the cap on the public financing trust fund, LA City Council will be able to move to full public financing when the time is right -- and we'll all be right there to ask them when it is. With this exciting victory, it's safe to say that we're on the road to clean elections!"
Consumer Federation of California Endorses Measure H
The Consumer Federation of California (CFC) has a long history of fighting the corrosive influence of big business PAC money and working to replace our "pay to play" campaign finance system with a public elections system that would make it more possible for candidates to run without depending on corporate handouts.
CFC witnesses first hand how this "pay to play" system undermines the
public interest at the state level, as one proposed consumer protection
law after another is crushed under a ton of corporate special-interest
It's not hard to understand why. California has among
the weakest campaign finance rules of any state in the country. That's
why its so critical that cities like Los Angeles are successful in their
efforts to address this crisis in democracy head on, at the local level.
For these reasons, CFC has endorsed Measure H on the upcoming March 8th Los Angeles city ballot. Measure H changes how election campaigns are financed so politicians can focus on addressing L.A.’s serious challenges instead of spending time fundraising for their next campaign. It will rein in pay-to-play politics by big city contractors and help get elected officials out of the fundraising game.
It was authored by City Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Jose Huizar, working with the California Clean Money Campaign, California Common Cause, and the League of Women Voters of LA.
Los Angeles Voters Want Measure H
• Los Angeles voters overwhelmingly passed the original Measure H in 1990 to create the city’s Ethics Commission and a public matching funds campaign system “to help restore public trust in governmental and electoral institutions”. The system worked well to diversify the candidates who can run for office, but needs updating.
• Los Angeles voters are ready: A majority of city voters voted Yes on Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act, which would have set up a similar Fair Elections pilot project to the kind that Measure H will allow for Los Angeles.
Measure H Will Stop Pay-To-Play Politics by Big City Contractors
• Prohibits campaign contributions and fundraising by bidders on most city contracts that are worth at least $100,000 and subject to elected official approval.
• Increases disclosure requirements for bidders for city Contracts.
• Punishes violators by banning them from getting city contracts for up to four years.
Measure H Will Help to Get City Politicians Out of the Fundraising Game
The measure will strengthen the city’s voter-approved Campaign Trust Fund to eventually allow full public funding of campaigns. Here's how:
• Candidates who use the city’s current public matching funds system have strict qualifying rules, reporting requirements, and prohibitions on campaign spending. But available funds aren’t used because the system hasn’t been updated since 1990 and the maximum amount allowed in the Campaign Trust Fund is too low.
• Strengthens the public matching funds system by lifting the maximum balance in the Campaign Trust Fund. It currently has a maximum of $12 million even when more funds are available. With Measure H, the city could provide more incentives to candidates and could move to full Fair Elections public funding of campaigns when the
budget allows so that elected officials are only accountable to voters, not special interests.
• Protects the city budget. It doesn’t increase the annual appropriations approved by the voters in 1990, and allows for borrowing from the fund and for temporary suspension of appropriations in certain emergency conditions.
Public Financing: A Proven Model of Success
Fair Elections have been proven successful in eight states and two cities. Nearly 400 candidates were elected using only fair elections funding in their 2008 campaigns, and the programs enjoy popular support across party lines. Elections in those states are far more competitive – unlike California, where the median winning candidate outspent the median losing candidate in 2008 by a startling 28-1.
The results have been extraordinary in states that have enacted full public financing of campaigns (ME, AZ, and CT):
• On average, winners out raised opponents by a greater than five-to-one ratio only 33% of the time,
• All winners raised only 29% more than their opponents, and
• Only 6% of total funds came from donors giving more than $250.
By freeing elected officials from big donors, Fair Elections have also saved voters money. Connecticut passed a bottle recycling bill generating up to $17 million annually after 81 percent of their Legislature was elected with Fair Elections. North Carolina's Fair Elections Insurance Commissioner forced insurance companies to rebate $50 million in overcharges and rolled back rates 9.4 percent.
Other benefits include lower overall campaign spending, candidates spending more time listening to constituents, increased voter turnout, and more women, people of color and less-affluent candidates competing for public office – and winning.
Organizations joining CFC in support of this measure include the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles; California Clean Money Campaign; California Common Cause; California Council of Churches; and the California Nurses Association, among many others.
The recent Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts on campaigns only adds to the urgency of this moment. Elected officials should be accountable to the voters, not donors and special interests. Vote Yes on Measure H.