Public Financing

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On The Money

Should the State Treasurer of North Carolina take campaign contributions from firms he hires to manage assets in the state's pension fund? Should any state official be soliciting contributions from industries he or she does business with or exercises authority over? Those questions are at the root of The News and Observer's editorial in favor of public financing for statewide races so as to avoid this apparent conflicts of interest.

 

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.

 

Congress Looks to Limit 527s

According to The Hill Democratic leaders are beginning to look at ways to limit the influence of independent "527" groups whose relatively unregulated activities are growing more influential each election cycle. This interest in imposing limits on 527s comes as a number of other measures are being considered to reduce the influence of money on congressional elections, including Senator Richard Durbin's (D-IL) anticipated congressional public financing bill.

 

A Smart Buy

Calling Clean Elections a "bargain," the Washington Post writes in support of full public financing for Maryland elections, a proposal with support from Maryland's Governor and House of Representatives and which is being debated by the Senate.

 

Will Maryland Be Next Clean Elections State?

As supporters head to Maryland's State Capitol today to lobby their legislators to pass Clean Elections in Maryland, Sean Dobson, the acting director of Progressive Maryland, writes in The Gazette about the opportunities Clean Elections will provide Maryland, and the importance of the state Senate joining the House and Governor Martin O'Malley in support of Clean Elections.

Mail Call

Nashville resident and Clean Elections supporter Richard Romfh writes this great letter to editor in The Tennessean in support of full public financing for elections. Letters to the editor are great tools to get the word out about Clean Elections, and we have a handy new tool to help you compose your own here. If you write a letter, and it gets published, be sure and let me know so I can feature it in this space.

Revisit Pulled Proposal

Last week saw a flurry of campaign finance activity on the Philadelphia City Council surrounding a proposal by Councilor Jim Kenney to do away with campaign contribution limits. Kenney eventually pulled this proposal and others from consideration, a move the Philadelphia Inquirer praises while recommending that Kenney's proposal for public financing for municipal elections be given consideration in due time.

 

Former Sen. Edwards Calls For Publicly Financed Elections

This past Friday, former Senator and current presidential candidate John Edwards called for public financing of all elections during an interview on Real Time With Bill Maher. Click here to download and watch the clip (2.5 MB).

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.

 

Fundraising First

The presidential election is starting to feel a little like the holiday season: it comes earlier each time, costs more, and you really get sick of the commercials. Except when the elections are over, rather than being left with a mountain of holiday debt, you've got a President in debt to wealthy special interests.