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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

LPSF To Oppose AB 583 Tax-Financing of Political Campaigns

Email from Ron Getty, Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco:

At the Saturday Oct. 10  LPSF meeting we will be discussing AB 583 and a possible letter writing campaign for the activities part of the November meeting.

This url goes to a decent synopsis of AB 583 the so-called clean money campaign. It apparently is weighted against third party independent candidates by the number of signature requirements.

Please read it over and be ready to discuss at the LPSF meeting Saturday.


From: Rob Power
Subject: Re: Fw: possible letter to California press

I think actually stuffing the envelopes and mailing in November would be fantastic, since the media will be suffering withdrawal symptoms of political coverage just following the November elections (which, while off-off-year, at least allow them to opine on ballot measures and such).  We may just get some interviews out of this.

As for what to do for in-meeting activism this month, I'm thinking we get everyone set up with a Facebook account and deploy things like the World's Smallest Political Quiz Facebook App and other such LP-oriented things to the new people's Facebook pages.  And if there's time, we can update the new LPSF Facebook group:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=297976855713


Subject: Fw: possible letter to California press
From: Richard Winger

Since there is no activism activity for the Oct. 10 SFLP meeting, maybe we would be willing to send copies of a letter with this text to California daily newspapers.

Dear Editor,

In June 2010, Californians will be voting on the "Clean Elections" ballot measure, to establish public funding for candidates for Secretary of State.  The legislature passed AB 583 last year to set this program up, but it can't be implemented without a vote of the people.

Proponents of AB 583 like to campaign for this measure by saying it would level the playing field.  But what they hope voters won't notice is how badly it discriminates against independent candidates.  Members of qualified parties could get public funding if they obtain at least $5 in contributions from at least 7,500 voters.  But independent candidates would be required to get $5 contributions from at least 15,000 voters.

Proponents say they put in higher requirements for independent candidates because they don't want to fund candidates with no real support.  But California makes it so difficult for independent candidates to get on the ballot, whenever one does get on, that candidate invariably has considerable public support.

Among the 5 most recent instances at which an independent candidate got on the ballot for State Senate in California, in 4 instances, the independent candidate won.  Those instances are Quentin Kopp in 1986, 1990, and 1994, and Lucy Killea in 1992.

It is so tough to get on the statewide ballot as an independent in California, there has never been an independent candidate on the ballot for Secretary of State in the entire history of the ballot access laws, which began in 1891.  For 2010, an independent candidate for Secretary of State needs 173,401 valid signatures.  In the entire history of the United States, no independent candidate for any office in any state has ever overcome a petition hurdle that large.

When the Clean Elections supporters ask your newspaper to endorse their ballot measure, please ask them why they wrote their measure to discriminate against independent candidates.

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