Presidential public financing

Taxpayers and Public Financing

USA Today writes about the declining number of people checking the box to earmark $3 on their tax return for the presidential public financing fund. The article discusses a number of reasons for the decline but one of the biggest has to be that there's very little public education on it anymore -- I keep track of news on public financing for a living after all, and I haven't seen more than a couple of articles explaining or promoting the check-off system.

 

Only You Can Stop Fundraising Fires

The Philadelphia Inquirer isn't willing to let presidential public financing go down without a fight, imploring the 2008 contenders to opt into the system for the general election to put the skids on the anticipated $1 billion election pricetag -- and the parade of articles that treat money as the proxy for viability in the race.

 

Checking on the Check-off

Tom Joyce at the New York Daily Record talked with Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly about the presidential public financing system: what it is, how it works, why fewer people are using the tax check-off to support the system, and how voter frustration with record campaign fundraising demonstrates the need for a revamped public financing system.

And They Laughed and Laughed

Obama's Attempts at Presidential Public Financing

Financial Times reports on efforts by presidential candidate Barack Obama to preserve the opportunity to opt into the presidential public financing system if he becomes the Democratic nominee while still fundraising for the primary and general election as if he were going to be privately financed. It's an interesting commentary on candidates being forced into the big money game in order to remain viable.

 

Giving Till It Hurts...Us.

From yesterday's Miami Herald: "Take a look at the failure of government to tackle the problems this nation confronts and then consider the way presidential elections are financed. Honk if you see a connection." The editorial cuts right to the point which is that, standard grousing about insincere campaigning aside, the way politicians seek office fundamentally impairs their ability to respond to the needs of the average voter. And it's only getting worse.

 

Quiet Please, Money is Talking

"American democracy should not force those who seek its highest office to prostrate themselves for hours upon end cadging campaign money. It is a waste of valuable time that should be spent listening to everyday citizens, not to special pleaders." That is, in a nutshell, the argument The Boston Globe makes for revitalizing the presidential public financing system, and it's right on.

 

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.

 

And Pretty Soon You're Talking Real Money

$1,000,000,000. That's how much the next presidential race is going to cost, when all is said and done. A billion bucks will be collected from a small group of the nation's wealthiest and most powerful who will come knocking at the door before the last inauguration balloon hits the floor looking for a return on their dollar. It will be, as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) says: "ridiculous."

 

Toad-Free Campaigning

Newsday joins the growing chorus asking Congress to fix the presidential public financing system (read: more money -- sooner) before it's gone for good. Cautioning a return to candidates "toadying" to special interests in exchange for campaign cash should public financing be abandoned, the paper tells Congress to get on it already before the fundraising situation gets any worse.