Presidential 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.

 

If We (Re)build It, They Will Run

Hillary Clinton's decision to pass on public financing in her presidential bid sparked many a declaration that the system was dead, and it's true that the efficacy of the reform intended to reduce corruption has faded over time: all the more reason to look at ways to update it for the future, before we find ourselves staring down the barrel of $1 billion dollar campaigns.

 

Had It Up To Here

Illinois' Journal Standard has "about had it with the corrupting influence of money in politics" and believes the only way to get rid of it is to embrace public financing of elections. Campaign costs rise unchecked and candidates have no choice but to chase larger and larger sums of money -- without sweeping change in the form of public financing of elections, there's no evidence the pattern will reverse itself.

 

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.

 

Ante Up

Michael E. Toner, Chairman of the Federal Election Commission estimates the 2008 Presidential race will cost $1 billion when it's all said and done - and if a candidate hasn't got $100 million to buy into the race, he or she might as well stay home. What is this, poker?

 

Saving Presidential Public Financing

E.J. Dionne devotes his column today in the Washington Post to the effort, headed up by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) to rescue the Presidential public financing system before it crumbles. Dionne cautions that absent this effort, the current spate of scandal will only get worse.

Fix Presidential Public Financing

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Representatives Marty Meehan (D-MA) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) have introduced legislation to fix the very broken Presidential public financing system. The system, introduced in 1974 hit its breaking point in 2004 when candidates opted out.