Bustamante endorses Prop. 89
|Earlier this morning, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante become the second ranking Democratic official in California politics to endorse Proposition 89, which would institute publicly financed campaigns in California. Bustamante joins Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides and the California Nurses Association, which is sponsoring the measure, |
"California voters have lost faith in the electoral process. They understand the crisis of corruption in Sacramento, and want to do something to change it," said Bustamante. "A publicly funded electoral system would help make politicians more accountable."
Bustamante is currently running for insurance commissioner and earlier this year drew criticism from his Republican opponent Steve Poizner for taking insurance industry money, which he has since returned.
"I have returned all campaign contributions from the insurance industry, and will not accept their campaign donations in my bid for Insurance Commissioner," said Bustamante. "Bad actors use our electoral system to pollute the efforts of good public servants like John Garamendi. I will not stand for it any longer. Prop. 89 is a good start in fixing the problem. I hope voters send a clear message to big donors by passing Prop. 89."
Bustamante's opponent, Steve Poizner, is a self-made multi-millionaire expected to self-fund his candidacy, having already contributed $4 million. Poizner spent $6 million in a losing bid for Assembly in 2004. Bustamante took a small dig at Poizner in the release, saying, "Voters should be able to decide elections based on the best ideas, not who has the most money to spend."
But how good a spokesman for "Clean Money" Bustamante will be is unclear. He was fined more than $250,000 by the Fair Political Practices Commission for shuffling $3.8 million around during the recall election. And was pilloried in the media for the millions he took from Indian gaming tribes.
Bustamante's endorsement of Prop 89 comes after several insurance companies have poured hundreds of thousand of dollars in to defeat the measure. Zenith Insurance gave $100,000, Mercury General gave $100,000, George Joseph, CEO of the Mercury Insurance Group gave $100,000, State Farm gave $125,000, 21st Century gave more than $32,000, Farmers Employers and Agents PAC gave $50,000, and SAFECO insurance gave $25,000.