Campaign Finance Measure Aimed at Health Care, Opponents Say
Opponents of a campaign finance measure on the Nov. 7 ballot say a document on the California Nurses Association's Web site indicates the union proposed the initiative as the first step to creating a universal health care system in California, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Proposition 89 would allow candidates who collect a certain number of signatures and $5 donations to be eligible for public financing for their campaigns if they agree not to accept private contributions. The measure would fund the public financing election system through an increase in corporate taxes and the $5 contributions collected by candidates. Corporate donations would be restricted to $10,000, and individuals' annual campaign donations also would be limited (California Healthline, 6/27).
According to Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, a document on CNA's Web site titled "California Nurses, Clean Money and Fair Elections," says the campaign-finance measure is a step toward health care reform.
The document states, "With pharmaceutical and health care corporations barred from funding political candidates and limited in funding ballot measures, real health care reform can be won."
Zaremberg said the proposition would "eliminate the ability of business to communicate with the voters" and "deny voters the right to hear the other side" if CNA qualifies a universal health care measure on next year's ballot.
Chuck Idelson, a spokesperson for CNA and the Yes on Proposition 89 campaign, said that although the union has supported universal health care for many years, the campaign-finance measure is not specifically related to that goal. He added, "It's the [campaign-finance] reform that makes other reforms possible" (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 9/19).
The CNA report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the document.