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California: Prop. 89 looks to Arizona for "clean elections" idea

The San Francisco Chronicle reports: Six years into its brave new world of publicly financed campaigns, Arizona's "clean money" elections system already is creaking with signs of age.

Backers of California's Proposition 89, which would provide $200 million a year for public financing of California candidates, point to the success of the Arizona system as an example of what could happen in California. But many of the political pros who work every day with the system have curbed their enthusiasm.

"On the whole, it has opened up the political process to a new pool of candidates,'' said Michael Frias, campaign director for the Arizona Democratic Party. "But we need to look and see where it can be improved.''

Some Republican leaders have harsher feelings about Arizona's public financing system.

"There are a lot of good things California and other states could pull from Arizona, but this isn't one of them,'' said Glenn Hamer, executive director of the Arizona Republican Party. -- The 'clean' campaign finance idea grows / Arizona experience mixed as California considers Prop. 89

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