First, Clean Elections

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Robert Fowler writes in The American Chronicle about changes he'd like to see in American elections. Chief among them is a move to a Clean Elections model of full public financing for federal elections.


He argues that entrenched incumbency, the high cost of campaigning, and the perpetual dash-for-cash push out all candidates but those with access to large amounts of cash -- or those already in office. In return, we can a government unresponsive to our needs:


Our system of electing our political leaders in city, county, state and federal elections is in serious trouble. Our citizens have lost the ability to vote for whom we would like to see elected. We have a two party system that is ruled by big money, they virtually buy the office by the large donations to their chosen candidate. The average citizen has no chance to run because of the inability to attract the large sums of money need to even enter a race.

Unless an incumbent commits a real serious crime or dies in office s/he is rarely challenged, because of incumbency s/he is almost gauranteed to be reelected. Only someone with millions of dollars of private money or someone chosen by a large corporation can mount a challenging campaign against an incumbent. This insures large business,or rich and powerful,or multinational corporations will get their candidate elected.


The reforms Fowler suggests are many, but Clean Elections in Congress isn't just a hypothetical goal. With 109 members of Congress on the record in support of Clean Elections, and with members of the both the House and Senate ready to introduce Clean Elections bills we are closer than we've ever been to changing the way we finance campaigns in the country, and changing public policy as a result.