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California Fair Elections Act Of 2008; General   

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The people find and declare all of the following:

(a) The current campaign finance system burdens candidates with the incessant rigors of fundraising and thus decreases the time available to carry out their public responsibilities.

(b) The current campaign finance system diminishes the free speech rights of nonwealthy voters and candidates whose voices are drowned out by those who can afford to monopolize the arena of paid political communications.

(c) The current campaign finance system fuels the public perception of corruption at worst and conflict of interest at best and undermines public confidence in the democratic process and democratic institutions.

(d) Existing term limits place a greater demand on fundraising for the next election even for elected officials in safe seats.

(e) The current campaign finance system undermines the First Amendment right of voters and candidates to be heard in the political process, undermines the First Amendment right of voters to hear all candidates' speech, and undermines the core First Amendment value of open and robust debate in the political process.

(f) Citizens want to ensure the integrity of California's system of electronically reporting lobbyist contributions and the integrity of future Secretaries of State to administer lobbyist disclosure programs. Voters would like the opportunity to elect a Secretary of State who has not accepted any contributions from entities or individuals that employ lobbyists.

(g) In states where the fair elections full public financing laws have been enacted and used, election results show that more individuals, especially women and minorities, run as candidates and growth in overall campaign costs diminish.

(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 735, Sec. 4.)