Californians for Fair Election Reform

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Californians for Fair Election Reform is the organization formed in summer 2007 by Democratic activists and consultants in opposition to the California Electoral Reform Initiative, or CERI. CERI would change the way that California divides up its electoral college votes in presidential elections, from the current winner-take-all system to a system where the popular vote in congressional districts determines the outcome.

A September 5, 2007 article about the formation of the group reports that it was formed by U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.[1]

FEC complaints

On October 1, Californians for Fair Election Reform filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, in which they accused Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani of violating federal campaign finance laws. Under federal campaign finance limits, individuals are only allowed to donate $2,300 to a presidential candidate. The contention of the complaint is that when Paul Singer donated $175,000 to Take Initiative America, which in turn gave a donation to Californians for Equal Representation to support the costs of the PERA/CERI petition drive, this donation was--in essence--a donation to the Giuliani campaign.[2]

On November 7, California attorney Ray Haynes, a former California senator, announced that he had filed a complaint with the FEC, accusing Californians for Fair Election Reform (CFER), its donors and the Hillary Clinton campaign of using donations to CFER to get around federal campaign finance limits, saying--in essence--that donations to CFER were actually donations to the Clinton campaign.[3]


The following is a list of donors supporting Californians for Fair Election Reform.[4]

Contributor Amount
Nancy J. Parrish $25,000.00
F. Warren Hellman $25,000.00
R. Scott Asen $5,000.00
Thomas F. Steyer $111,475.00
Norman Lear Trust, Norman Lear $50,000.00
Total $216,475.00

External links