Where Heart Shift Happens. Teaching the Science of Sustainable Health. What works for 7 future generations? "Do not go where the freeway may lead - Go instead where there is no path and build - A Green Road"
"It should go without saying that what defines a 'public servant' is service to the public. The ability to serve should be open to the most qualified, and not limited to those with lots of money. Money can also have a great influence on some candidates and that's why I'm co-authoring AB 538, to keep public service focused on serving the public good." - State Senator Sheila Kuehl
On Monday, January 30th, our Clean Money bill, AB 583, passed the full California Assembly by a vote of 47-31. With the help of our active supporters and coalition partners we are defying the odds and pushing California further down the path towards fair elections and accountable government.
Thanks to all those who wrote letters, faxed, called, and especially those of you who came from all across the state to pack the Assembly hearings. Incredibly, over 1,000 of you sent letters or faxes to your Assemblymembers using our new online letter-writing system. Hundreds of more called. Your accumulated efforts and those of our partners and concerned citizens everywhere generated an amazing groundswell of public support that led to this historic victory on the road to Clean Money for California.
Assemblymember Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) gave dramatic testimony to how effective our coalition has been when she rose in support of AB 583 during the floor debate and said, “Everywhere I go in the community people ask about this bill... In fact I would say that it is the one bill this session that has gotten the most interest from across the board...”
In his weekly radio address after the vote, Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nunez took the opportunity to praise his fellow Democrats for supporting AB 583: “[A] dark cloud looms over our Capitol. That cloud is the public perception that our policy process is tainted by the escalating arms race for campaign funds. That's why I was so proud that Democrats stood up and voted to clean up our election system with a new clean money bill... Assembly Democrats believe that clean money for clean elections is an idea whose time has come.”
Thank you to one and all who made this historic triumph possible!
Our victory in the Assembly defied most odds and expectations. But our work is far from over. Our next major hurdle is passing AB 583 through the State Senate. A vote in the Senate Elections Committee could happen any time from late April until June.
We will let people know the date as soon as possible. We hope you will help us pack that hearing room with supporters as we did consistently during our Assembly push. Additionally, we will use the Elections Committee hearing as a lobby day for folks to urge all the Senators that this is the one fundamental reform they should all be backing.
In between now and the Senate Elections Committee vote, we will be urging people write letters to your Senator and our Senate leaders and call at specific times. You can write a letter right now by using our easy new online letter-writing tool.
You can write a letter right now by using our convenient online letter-writing tool. Also, we are working on setting up constituent meetings at the district office of representatives. If you would like to help with this effort, please contact email@example.com or 310-481-0814.
In the weeks leading up to the Assembly vote and the days after, many of the state’s largest papers editorialized in favor of Clean Money. Here are some of the glowing things they had to say:
"Smart voters... realize that any money spent to buy back their government from the free-spending interests [is] a bargain..." — Los Angeles Times Editorial, 12/7/05
"Increasingly, citizens think their democracy is being sold to the highest special-interest bidder. ..." — Sacramento Bee Editorial, 1/9/06
"We hope that... Hancock's measure will become law. It would be a refreshing change for California." — Oakland Tribune Editorial, 2/6/06
"AB 583 should be called the Restore Faith in Politicians Act, for it would free politicians to spend their time meeting voters, not chasing dollars from well- connected friends..." — San Jose Mercury News Editorial, 2/8/06
And when the bill passed, the press recognized the sea change this historic victory represented with reports in many California papers:
The California Clean Money Campaign would like to warmly welcome a number of our newest supporting organizations. Recently, we have received the endorsement of the California State Council of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a labor organization representing over 600,000 Californian union members, MoveOn.org Political Action, Working Assets, Greenpeace USA, the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Action Network, the Planning and Conservation League, and the California League of Conservation Voters. A big thank you to these and all our other new supporters! You can see our full list of over 100 endorsers online.
If you are a member of or have contacts with an organization that you think might be interested in learning more about Clean Money, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-481-0814. We would be happy to provide information about Clean Money or a speaker to one of their upcoming meetings.
Additionally, we would like to thank the newest co- authors to our Clean Money bill (AB 583). Recent additions include Senators Elaine Alquist, Sheila Kuehl, Tom Torlakson, Wes Chesbro, and Jackie Speier. "It is time to ensure that our elections are not influenced by campaign contributions," said Senator Alquist. "I look forward to having [AB 583] enacted into law and restoring the people's trust in their government."
If your Senator is not on that list, please use our online tool to write them a letter telling them how much you support AB 583 and urge them to join the distinguished list of co- authors to the bill.
Federal Clean Money Bill Introduced
In February, Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) announced that they will push for full public funding of federal election campaigns. Senator Durbin is the second- ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership. Senator Dodd is the most senior Democratic member of the committee that oversees campaign finance regulation. Durbin told the Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, that he believes that campaign finance is at the core of the current Abramoff scandals. Dodd also told the newspaper that a major source of potential corruption exists in the "campaign fundraising area."
In response to the two senators' announcement, Nick Nyhart, executive director of Public Campaign, our national partner working for Clean Money, released a statement: "Senators Durbin and Dodd have the right idea. The only way to restore public trust in Congress is to deal with the root of the Abramoff, Cunningham and DeLay scandals, and that is campaign money. At the heart of each of these scandals is a core problem: Our public representatives, the holders of our trust, need huge sums of money to finance their campaigns, and today's campaign finance system puts the interests of elite donors ahead of the interests of the public. Influence peddlers like Jack Abramoff would have no power if elected officials didn't feel compelled to offer them access and influence."
We will continue to keep a close eye on these developments and let you know ways you can help.
New Webtools Make Huge Impact
Our fabulous web team designed a powerful new web tool that greatly enhanced our grassroots voice, helping propel us through the Assembly. Thanks to the easy online letter- writing tool, thousands of letters were mailed and faxed to Assemblymembers and Senators in Sacramento. Many of the offices we talked with said this was the number one issue in terms of constituent communications. Great work to everybody out there who wrote letters using the tools – they had a major effect!
And a special thanks to our wonderful web team consisting of programmer-extraordinaire James Saxon, usability expert Catherine Ashworth, and CCMC Vice President Trent Lange. James in particular spent several sleepless nights putting together the final touches that helped all of you make Assemblymembers fax machines ring off the hook. And thanks also to the Bay Area media volunteers who help create draft content for the letters.
The tool is now set up to help you write letters and send free faxes to Senate President pro tem Don Perata and to your own Senator, who it looks up for you. It drafts up a nearly unique letter for you to edit, so generating an effective letter is as easy as 1-2-3: Please write a letter yourself and encourage your friends to do the same!
We cordially invite you all to join us in San Rafael on Saturday, March 18th for a special fundraiser to benefit the California Clean Money Campaign!
Ed Asner, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, CCMC Executive Director Susan Lerner, and Actor/Writer Peter Coyote (Commander in Chief) will talk about how Clean Money is on California's horizon.
Also join the NEW Marin Working group if you can. The next meeting will be this Sunday, March 19th from 4:00- 6:00pm at 101 Lucas Valley Road in San Rafael in the first floor conference room. Come at 3:30 to see a playing of Bill Moyer's inspiring "Road to Clean Elections" video on how well Clean Money is working in Arizona and Maine. CCMC Vice President Trent Lange will be there to answer your questions and talk about how you can help locally. The first Marin working group last month was well attended, so we expect the Marin group to become just as effective as our other working groups across the state.
Finally, April 15th will be a speakers training at Corte Madera from 4-7pm. If you are interested in learning more about the details of Clean Money and how to talk to others persuasively and confidently about it, please send an email to info@CAclean.
Clean Money supporters Celebrate Victory at Groundhog's Day Bash
Although Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter this year, the Clean Money crew already had lots to celebrate! And celebrate we did! On February 2nd, CCMC hosted a Groundhog Day bash at one of Los Angeles' most intriguing urban venues, the Huron SubStation (www.HuronSubStation.com). Activist-balladeer Maria Armoudian and indie rock group Mystery Hangup had guests up and dancing, DJ Mark Lewis kept them going, and drinks and tacos kept the crowd fueled.
With Los Angeles on the Clean Money cusp, it was great to see Jim Horwitz from Councilman Bill Rosendahls' office and Molly Reisman who works on Clean Money reform with Council President Eric Garcetti. Thanks to our hostess Meike Kopp for the use of Huron SubStation, Clean Money Westside working group member Brandon Marlowe for organizing the party, and to all our guests and supporters for your great spirits and support!
Supporter Spotlight: Craig Dunkerley
Craig Dunkerley, our spectacular South Bay Area Working Group Coordinator, spends his days selling houses and his nights making sure our government is not for sale!
Although born in Pennsylvania, nobody would deny Craig has earned his status as a bonafied Californian. Growing up in Sunnyvale (near San Jose), Craig graduated as valedictorian from his high school before starting on the path towards a double major in mathematics and philosophy at nearby San Jose State University.
Most of his professional career since then has been spent selling houses in the South Bay region, but he also teaches parenting and conflict resolution classes. And, of course, in his spare time, Craig leads a great team of volunteers building local support for Clean Money.
“To me Clean Money is such a no-brainer,” says Craig. “I like that it's non-partisan, but it's also simple, eminently fair, proven effective and unbelievably inexpensive.”
Couldn’t have said it any better myself. Thanks for all your amazing support, Craig!
GET INVOLVED! Join your local Clean Money Working Group
As we gear up for a likely Senate battle in April for our Clean Money bill (AB 583), it is critical we have all hands on deck. Below is a list of the upcoming working group meetings. Find one near you and get involved!
Susan Lerner...... Executive Director Eric Tang......... Communications Coordinator Aaron Cervantes... Latino Outreach Coordinator Moira Brennan..... Development Director Ted Williams...... Chairmman Jo Seidita........ President Trent Lange....... Vice President & Newsletter Editor
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