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Green Party of California

Public financing bill would discriminate Against all, except GOP & Democratic Parties, charges Green Party

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release: May 6, 2004

Contacts:
Cres Vellucci, GPCA Spokesperson, 916-996-1970,
Jo Chamberlain, GPCA Spokesperson, 650-346-3775,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Ross Mirkarimi, GPCA Spokesperson, 415-412-7526,

SACRAMENTO A new state public campaign financing bill (AB 2949) heard before a key committee here this week would discriminate against all but the GOP and Democratic parties, and would make the disparity between parties even larger, charged the Green Party of California today.

The measure, AB 2949, also known as the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act of 2004, authorizes candidates for state office to obtain public funds for their campaigns.

The bill is currently waiting for a vote in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

In a letter to author Assembly member Loni Hancock (D-14th/East Bay), the Green Party of California noted, "The current language of the bill discriminates against candidates based on their party affiliation," The measure would severely limit the amount candidates from smaller parties would receive, thereby discouraging their participation and limiting voters' choices at the polls.

"It is absolutely unacceptable to introduce into law further discrimination against the 22 percent of registered voters who are not members of the Republican or Democratic parties. This legislation discriminates against them, and discriminates against the Green Party, whose position on the war in Iraq represents the overwhelming majority in the world, and thereby should be heard," said former gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo.

An analysis of the legislation by the Assembly Elections, Redistricting and Constitutional Amendments Committee supports Camejo, finding the measure may have the "opposite effect" of making elections fairer because it restricts the amount of public funding for non-Republican or Democratic Party candidates by putting them in a different "category."

"It's very unfortunate that the author of the legislation is not yet committed to an overall spending cap, as was done in Arizona, which would limit the cost of public financing," said Jo Chamberlain, Green Party of California state coordinating committee.

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The Green Party of California
http://www.cagreens.org
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
gpca@greens.org