full public financing

Bad Language

Susan Lerner of the California Clean Money Campaign rightly criticizes the biased ballot language that Sunnyvale, CA city councilors have used to frame the issue of bringing full public financing of elections to the city, in this article by Julie Patel at the San Jose Mercury News.

Follow the Money, Then Get Rid of It

The Raleigh News and Observer profiles the latest report (pdf) by Democracy North Carolina on the nearly $15 million in fees paid to lobbyists in 2005 -- that's a lot of influence bought and sold at the Capitol building, and a good example of the perfectly legal but questionable activity that happens in a pay-to-play political system.

The Who, What, and Why

What are we really fighting for when we embark on campaign finance reform? Mark Schmitt, of the New American Foundation and The Decembrist, opens an engaging dialogue on TPM Cafe urging reform-minded folks to not get bogged down in the details of campaign finance and to keep our eyes on the ball: using policy (like Clean Elections) to create opportunities for more people to become involved in politics and spark social change.

 

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?

 

Don't Just Throw It Away

The Kansas City Star today gets after Congress to fix the presidential public financing system. Decrying the attitude of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who wants to junk public financing for good, this editorial suggests that neglect has caused a breakdown in the system, but that public financing is still sorely needed to reduce corruption and restore accountability in elections.

 

Reincarnating Public Financing

Apparently, the presidential public financing system died over the weekend. In lieu of flowers, letters can be sent to Congress and the White House asking why they have let a once-vibrant election reform languish even as the cost of campaigns (and attendant threat of corruption) skyrockets. Hillary Clinton didn't kill presidential public financing. It's been ailing for years -- but it can be revived.

 

Public Financing a "true freedom bill"

The Reverend Dennis Sparks writes in the Charleston Gazette urging the West Virginia legislature to pass full public financing for the state's elections. Calling the Public Campaign Financing Act a "true freedom bill," Rev. Sparks cites the success in Arizona and Maine of public finanicng systems producing better accountability to citizens, and urges West Virginia to be a leader on this reform.

 

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.