Clean Elections

Crude Conflict of Interest

This post is part the first installment of a new series that will explore the favors that lawmakers already under an ethical cloud for various lobbying and money and politics scandals give to their biggest contributors.

 

Today’s focus: Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), who has taken heat for working closely with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff on legislation to favor Abramoff’s tribal clients after those clients made hefty contributions to his campaign - $20,000 in total plus another $9,000 from Abramoff.

 

Clean Elections Protest in CA

It looks like California's Proposition 89 supporters will be taking advantage of a big-dollar fundraiser (and Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent dismissal of public financing) to stage a protest in support of Clean Elections.

Public Financing Action in the States

Our sister organization, Public Campaign, released an editorial memorandum on how states are forging the way on campaign finance reform while Washington remains mired in scandal. Read all about how Portland, Oregon successfully held its first primary elections under Voter Owned Elections; Connecticut plugged loopholes in its landmark Clean Elections law passed last December; a New Jersey Commission recommended expansion of that state's pilot public financing program, and more.

CA Committee Suspends Clean Elections Hearings

CA: Committee Suspends Clean Elections Hearings in Senator’s Absence

Yesterday the California Senate Elections Committee abruptly suspended a hearing on AB 583, The California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, reportedly because Senator Gloria Romero (D) left the capitol.

 

Call for More Clean Elections in New Jersey

The editorial in the Asbury Park Press follows up the New Jersey Citizens' Clean Election Commission report that the state's Clean Elections pilot project should be expanded.

 

It argues that the system is "vital" and to truly combat special interest money it should, with some improvements, be expanded even further than the Commission recommends.

Tuesday Roundup

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on the lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee to obtain records of Ralph Reed's White House visits as part of a larger inquiry into those with close ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

NC Leaders Call for Voter Owned Elections

Read this piece in North Carolina's News & Observer by North Carolina leaders who are calling for the establishment of Voter Owned Elections in that state. They say it best, so here are some excerpts:

 

Maryland House Says "Yes" to Clean Elections

The Maryland House of Delegates yesterday approved bill, by a 79 to 56 vote, to provide full public financing for candidates for legislative office in that state, reports the Baltimore Sun. The law would take effect for the 2010 elections.

 

San Jose Mayor Wants To Show The City The Way To Clean Elections

The Mayor of San Jose, California, Ron Gonzales, has had enough with donor driven politics and has offered a proposal that would bring Clean Elections—or publicly funded campaigns—to his city. If implemented, elections in San Jose would be about voters, not donors.

In his press release, Mayor Gonzales said:

“This proposal will make sure that all candidates can have a level playing field, and that they focus on what voters need and want.”

Susan Anderson of Public Campaign on the Air...

Our own Susan Anderson is talking on National Public Radio's the Kojo Nnamdi Show even as we type. Susan is discussing the Clean Elections movement, also known as "Clean Elections," that is growing around the country.

You can listen to the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU at 88.5 on your FM dial if you are in Washington, DC. You can also listen to the show via the internet by clicking here (the links to listen via the internet are in the upper left corner, just below the header on the web page).