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Democrats should be 'ashamed' for abandoning state's lowest paid workers in minimum wage plan, charge Green Party candidates

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (August 22, 2006) - Democrats should be "ashamed" of themselves for abandoning the state's lowest wage earners and "selling out" to Republicans and Gov. Schwarzenegger by agreeing to an "obscene" new minimum wage plan, said several Green Party of California statewide candidates today.

"The working poor will accept this wage increase, but they ought not to be fooled by election-year politicians who have sold them out by denying these workers what they deserve," said Donna Warren, Green Party candidate for Lt. Governor. "Living wage laws eradicate poverty and people ought to be able to afford to live," she added.

The plan agreed upon by the Republicans and Democrats would raise the minimum wage from $6.75 an hour to $8 in 2008. But, according to the California Budget Project, wage earners should be earning more than $10 an hour right now to even come close to what people were paid in 1968, when the minimum wage was $1.50 an hour.

"It's politics as usual at the Capitol, and Democrats should be ashamed for abandoning minimum wage earners," said Green Party candidate for Controller Laura Wells. "The wage hike is an election-year sham," she added.

Greens also point to the failure of Democrats to support a minimum wage initiative by a coalition of social justice groups set for the ballot in November, which would have raised the hourly wage to a minimum of $8.75 and include an annual cost-of-living increase.

"We had an opportunity to do something halfway decent for the hard-working people of California, but the Democrats stood by and refused to help place the measure on the ballot, and now they agree to a rate that cannot be good for wage earners if for no other reason than a pro-business governor and Wal-Mart both think it's acceptable," said Larry Cafiero, Green Party candidate for Insurance Commissioner.

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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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