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Make Fair Elections a Priority!

So we now have more support for Fair Elections, or full public financing of elections, in Washington, D.C. than ever before.

In Congress, more than 118 members are on the record in support of public financing. President-Elect Barack Obama has supported the issue for years, all the way back to his days in the Illinois senate.


What a Racket(eering)

Congressman Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), already in trouble on corruption charges, received more bad news yesterday. Federal prosecutors added new counts to his indictment, including "racketeering, making a false statement on a tax return and other counts to an indictment against Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi.


Headed to trial

In the ongoing saga surrounding Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), the 4th Circuit Appeals court ruled against Jefferson today, refusing to throw out most of the 16 charges against him.


Jefferson had tried to get many of the charges thrown out. Unless Jefferson appeals the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, the trial is set to begin in 2009.


Here's a reminder of the charges:

More money, more victories

The Center for Responsive Politics reports today that the average cost of winning a House race in 2008 was $1.1 million. And that $1 million, more often than not, decided who was going to be victories on Tuesday.


According to CRP:

Debating Clean Elections

It’s down to the wire and candidates on both sides of the political aisle are trading barbs on corruption and campaign contributions.

It never stops

From day one, members of Congress must spend time raising enough money to prepare for their next election, be it two years away or six. And the fundraising doesn't stop--even if you're in a safe seat or facing no opposition. The Washington Times reported yesterday on those members with "safe seats," or no opposition and the fundraisers they continue to have.

$5 Billion?

Our friends over at the indispensable Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) have made their prediction for the cost of the 2008 elections: $5.3 billion. Yes, that's a b. And that's a huge increase from the $4 billion raised in 2004.


According to CRP, "At $5.3 billion, the 2008 contests will add up to the most expensive U.S. election in history (and, thus, probably the most expensive election the world has ever seen)."


Down, but not out

The news of Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) $150 million haul in September with an average donation under $100 combined with Obama's decision to opt out of the partial presidential public financing system gave political prognosticators and pundits the opportunity to declare the death of public financing. They signed the certificate and called the morgue.


Jefferson Survives

A familiar face here on the Paid for by... blog, embattled Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) political fortunes survived another day and he'll head to a runoff against Helena Moreno on November 4th. (Due to Hurricane Gustav, the state shuffled the calendar around. The runoff will be on Election Day and the general election for the seat will be in December).



Ben Pershing of the Washington Post takes a look through the laundry list of scandals, indictments, and imprisonments and asks "what is the Hill Corrupt-o-Meter showing for the 110 Congress?" Apparently, this thing goes to eleven.