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Greens testify for legislation to reduce power of special interests in elections, qualify all parties for public financing of campaigns

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (April 19, 2006) - The Green Party testified in favor of legislation here today that would create public financing of elections for all political parities - including third parties like the Greens - and reduce the influence of special interests in politics.

The measure, AB583, had its first test in the upper house Wednesday in the Senate Elections Committee. Authored by Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), the bill was approved by the full Assembly on a 47-31 vote late last year.

"This bill is a good start toward providing a better government to voters," said Dr. Forrest Hill, the Secretary of State candidate for the Green Party of California. "It will diminish the perception of corruption in politics, and will allow independent voices of smaller political parties a better opportunity to be heard."

Previously, the Green Party of California and other groups opposed AB583 because it made it far too difficult for smaller political parties to qualify for public financing. After the author made changes to make the law fairer for smaller political parties and level the playing field a little more, the Greens agreed to support the legislation.

"We support the legislation as it is now written because the public financing of campaigns will allow lawmakers to focus their time on the public's business instead of spending 50 percent or more of their time fishing for dollars from special interests," said Hill.

The California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act establishes a voluntary system of public funding of campaigns similar to those in Arizona, Connecticut and Maine. Candidates from all parties, and independents, could qualify for millions of dollars in public campaign funding by following a set a rules designed to limit the influence of special interests.

Smaller party candidates would have to collect thousands of $5 donations - twice as many their Democratic and Republican counterparts - to qualify, but could still be entitled for up to millions of dollars in campaign financing for legislative, and statewide elections.

-30-

Contacts:
Crescenzo Vellucci, State Press Office, 916.996.9170,
Sara Amir (Los Angeles), 310.270.7106,
Dr. Bob Vizzard (Sacramento), 916.206.8953,
Daniel Brezenoff (Southern California), 310.422.2211,
Susan King (San Francisco), 415.823.5524,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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