Public Financing

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Where's McCain?

Yesterday's Boston Globe had this piece studying Sen. John McCain's (R) apparent retreat from support of public financing of campaigns, particularly as he has pursued the presidential nomination. We've written a letter to Sen. McCain asking that he renew his support of public financing -- you can read and sign that letter here.

Faces of Reform

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle devotes today's "Friday faceoff" column to opposing views on Clean Elections. The Clean Elections supporter touts the value in cutting the cord between special interest money and legislators, the detractor doesn't like the requirements placed on third party candidates.

Coordinating Contributions

This Seattle Times article explains controversy around a series of donations made by firefighters unions that may have been coordinated to skirt contributions limits. Of particular interest are contributions to a Seattle City Council member, Tim Burgess who used to sit on the city ethics commission.

The timing of donations from the various unions around the state to candidates outside their districts raised red flags:


New Reform Venture

Stanford law professor and noted copyright law expert Lawrence Lessig launched his new venture today,, designed to track the position of members of Congress on key reform issues, and put them on the record in support of things like the Fair Elections Now Act, which would publicly finance congressional campaigns. Read more about his project here.

Paterson's Positions

As David Paterson takes the oath of office to become New York's new Governor today, the Gotham Gazette takes a look at what New York might expect from him, including what his record has been on corruption, campaign finance reform, and public financing of campaigns.

In his time in the state Senate, Paterson was a leader on public financing and is expected to continue to pursue many of the reforms that made up Eliot Spitzer's platform for cleaning up Albany:

Checking the Record

Cenk Uygur is an attorney, host of the radio program The Young Turks and a regular contributor to Huffington Post. He's also a rather disenchanted former support of Sen. John McCain (R) and in this article for Politico he expresses his frustration on a number of issues, including McCain's unclear position on public financing of campaigns.

Here's what Uygur has trouble with:

A Survey For Your Thoughts

Campaign Money Watch, a project of Public Campaign Action Fund, is in the process of planning the work it will do around this year's elections and we'd like to ask your help in guiding our thinking a bit. We've put together this short survey about public financing of elections and the Presidential race and would appreciate your filling it out.

First Time Match-Up

Emily Cadei at CQ Politics notes that this could be the first presidential elections to match up two vocal supporters of public financing of elections, in the form of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama. She rightly identifies the glee with which we anticipate the topic of public financing receiving the attention it deserves, despite the barbs the candidates have been trading over the presidential public financing system.

Promising Developments in North Carolina

The Winston-Salem Journal is encouraged by the prospects for the expanded public financing program for North Carolina elections, which covers candidates for the Appellate and Supreme Courts and now candidates for three of the Council of State positions (the Governor's cabinet). Six of the eleven candidates for these three positions this year intend to run with public financing.

Call for Clarity

One of Sen. John McCain's (R) home state newspapers, The Arizona Republic, is taking him to task for his muddied position on the presidential public financing system noting in particular the contrast between McCain's reputation as a reformer and his seeming ambivalence towards the presidential public financing program.