Clean Elections

They're Listening

The Senate stalled on the ethics and lobbying reform bil Wednesday and it looked like it was going to be left for dead. But, last night, things changed and the Senate passed a bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said in the Washington Post:

 

Durbin To Introduce Public Financing Bill

Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today on the floor of the Senate that he will be introducing a bill to establish full public financing of elections at the congressional level. The public financing system would be modeled on the successful systems already working in Maine and Arizona, see TPMmuckraker's coverage of the announcement.

 

Calling Colorado

Nancy Watzman, our Colorado-based research and investigative projects director, has this piece in The Denver Post on the potential to make real progress in passing Clean Elections-style full public financing for congressional elections - something she'd like to hear more about from Colorado's represenatatives in Congress.

 

Draining the Swamp

Public Campaign's President and CEO, Nick Nyhart along with representatives from US PIRG, Democracy Matters, and Common Cause California talked with the San Francisco Chronicle a few days ago about the possibilty of passing Clean Elections at the federal level. Yesterday the Chronicle published this strong endorsement to "drain the swamp" and clean up Congress by making Clean Elections a part of the Democratic agenda in 2007.

 

New Jersey Moving Forward

The New Jersey Assembly has passed legislation to extend the state's Clean Elections pilot program, with some modifications. The effort to expand the pilot program is excellent - hopefully down the road some consideration will be given to extending the Clean Elections program to cover primaries.

 

Improving Maine's Law

This article in the Kennebec Journal covers a series of proposals being considered by Maine's legislature to improve its landmark Clean Elections law, passed in 1997, to respond to activities that transpired in the 2006 election that suggested some tweaks to the system might be in order.

 

Well, Wisconsin?

Ed Garvey, writing for Wisconsin's Capital Times, urges Governor Jim Doyle to back public financing of campaigns and take special interest money's bite out of state politics. Dismissing and discrediting the arguments against a Clean Elections model, Garvey makes his case for putting elections back in the hands of people.

 

Federal Opening

David Sirota, author of Hostile Takeover, writes on TomPaine.com that now is the moment to push for full public financing of federal campaigns. There are encouraging circumstances - and some roadblocks, of course - that could make the legacy of the 2006 elections an end the legalized bribery masquerading as our campaign finance system.

 

Election Aftermath

Even as votes are still being counted in close races around the country, speculation on reforms to counter the high-cost, special-interest dominated election process is being offered up. Writers at both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Winston-Salem Journal cite the Voters First Pledge, its principles and signers, as showing the way forward.

 

Opposites Allied

Edgar Bronfman Sr., former CEO of Seagrams, and Deborah Simpson, a former waitress and current Clean-elected state legislator in Maine co-author this editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer on why they support Clean Elections. It's an excellent read.