Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ruling on Arizona law affects proposed public funding question in California

Full steam ahead on California's Prop. 15, which received a boost last week when a federal appeals court upheld a similar Arizona law on public campaign financing.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a federal judge struck down the Arizona law claiming that in part it violated the free speech of privately funded candidates by providing extra funds to their publicly-funded opponents if the privately-funded candidates raise more than a specified amount of cash. The six GOP candidates and two conservative PACs who challenged the Arizona law claimed that the subsidy deterred private donations to the non-clean-elections candidates and thus chilled free speech.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals saw it otherwise, saying in a unanimous decision that the extra state funding--and widespread use of clean elections money--served the public interest in fighting political corruption and had little effect on private fundraising.

It's almost a week until Californians vote on Proposition 15, which provides public financing for secretary of state candidates, starting in 2014. The cash-strapped state will raise the money through a new fee on lobbyists.
You can read the ruling here, and the story here. Find out more about Prop 15 at the California Fair Election Act's website, here.

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