Voters reject measure to fund political campaigns

June 9, 2010 8:29:55 AM PDT
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Californians aren't interested in financing political campaigns with taxpayer money, even on an experimental basis. Proposition 15, defeated Tuesday, would have set up a voluntary pilot program for candidates running for secretary of state.

In doing so, the measure would have repealed a 26-year-old ban on public funding of political campaigns in California.

Had Proposition 15 passed, candidates running for secretary of state could have received at least $2.3 million in public funds for the primary and general elections. Additional matching funds would have been available if outside interest groups or competitors spent more money.

Supporters argued such a system would curtail the influence of special interests in elections. Critics characterized the measure as welfare for politicians.