Real campaign finance reform needed

09/02/2014 4:09 PM

09/04/2014 11:17 AM

Re "Legislators take a walk rather than expand campaign disclosure" (Sept. 2): The Bee is right in pointing out that the California legislature dodged a few tough questions on campaign reform this session. Decisions like Citizens United have increasingly put power in the hands of wealthy donors and interests, regardless of party or ideology.

Candidates need to be encouraged to seek out support from average people. One way to make this happen is by empowering small donors. Cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles have passed laws that match small, local donations to campaigns to encourage more people to donate. If these rules were strengthened and passed statewide, candidates who collected lots of small contributions from a big base of support could stand up to politicians with a few massive contributions from a few special interests.

Concrete reforms and policies like this are the best way to slow the flood of big money in elections.

-- Zach Weinstein, Oakland

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