Clean Elections

Work That Matters

Campaign finance reform is not an issue that tends to get people dancing in the aisles. But I challenge you to spend some time with the members of Democracy Matters and not feel excited about fighting for Clean Elections. Democracy Matters, started six years ago by Golden State Warriors center Adonal Foyle, is made up of students in colleges and universities nationwide working to bring students into the debate over money in politics and into the work of winning Clean Elections public financing systems.

 

A Campaign of People Power

The campaign for winning Clean Elections in Maryland depends on a grassroots organizing effort. It cannot win without the citizens of Maryland taking a stand and getting involved in the effort. It’s about citizens choosing to take responsibility for making a necessary change here in Maryland! So what really goes on in a grassroots campaign?

 

A Better Idea

USA Today writes today in support of public financing for presidential campaigns, arguing that the escalating cost of campaigning has overwhelmed the current system, but created an opportunity to pursue a Clean Elections-style system of public financing like those in Maine, Arizona, Connecticut and elsewhere.

 

Working the Phones

I spent last night volunteering at a grassroots phone bank in the offices of Progressive Maryland, the organization that is leading the fight to pass a Clean Money/Clean Elections measure through the Maryland legislature. The callers were dedicated and relentless, working through list upon list of members, mobilizing people in key State Senate districts. The response was terrific!

 

First, Clean Elections

Robert Fowler writes in The American Chronicle about changes he'd like to see in American elections. Chief among them is a move to a Clean Elections model of full public financing for federal elections.

 

He argues that entrenched incumbency, the high cost of campaigning, and the perpetual dash-for-cash push out all candidates but those with access to large amounts of cash -- or those already in office. In return, we can a government unresponsive to our needs:

Iowa Joins The Parade

The River City Reader has a good feature article on efforts of Voter Owned Iowa Clean Elections' (VOICE) effort to win a Clean Elections public financing system for the state. Featuring commentary from both Common Cause and Public Campaign, the article cites the high participation rates in both Arizona and Maine where Clean Elections has been working the longest, and acknowledges the uphill battle reformers face to win in Iowa.

 

Phone Banking for Clean Elections

Last Monday, volunteers got together at Progressive Maryland’s Silver Spring office to call Maryland residents urging them to contact their Senators in this campaign to win Clean Elections in Maryland. So, what goes on at a phone bank anyway?

The Voting Class

Steven Hill writes in The San Francisco Chronicle about growing voter disenfranchisement and apathy in California and what can be done about it. In doing so, he says efforts to win full public financing should be abandoned - pointing to the loss of Proposition 89, the Clean Elections ballot initiative, in 2006. But if most eligible adults aren't voting, can you point to an electoral loss as evidence against pursuing full public financing?

 

If We (Re)build It, They Will Run

Hillary Clinton's decision to pass on public financing in her presidential bid sparked many a declaration that the system was dead, and it's true that the efficacy of the reform intended to reduce corruption has faded over time: all the more reason to look at ways to update it for the future, before we find ourselves staring down the barrel of $1 billion dollar campaigns.

 

Lobbyist Influence Growing in States

Joel Barkin, the executive director of the Progressive States Network writes today in the Baltimore Sun that the growing influence of big industry lobbyists is not just a concern inside the Beltway, business interests are beefing up their state-level lobbyists as well to beat back policies that might cost them money. What to do? Work for public financing in of elections in your state, for one.