Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Clean Money on the Move

The Los Angeles Times reports that a majority of the Ethics Commission supports a clean money policy for Los Angeles. Wendy Greuel, Bill Rosendahl and I first proposed this publicly this summer, and I am pleased to see the proposal gaining traction. Our City Controller Laura Chick has also made many supportive statements.

Los Angeles already has an election matching funds program; for the money that we've already allocated, we could fund a good part of an initial clean money program. The Supreme Court has objected to laws that entirely prohibit political donations (Buckley v. Valeo), but the beauty of a clean money system is that it is an "opt-in" program. Anyone can elect to continue raising private funds. But the candidate who foregoes private money receives the necessary funds to run a campaign. The voters are assured that he or she is in no one's pocket, and the candidate can spend his or her time talking to voters, not to special interests.

The Ethics Commission has decided to take up the matter at their November 8th meeting. I'll let you know what happens.