Alaska is the latest state to introduce public financing legislation in both the House and Senate, and this columnist from the Anchorage Daily News weighs in with his support for the proposal, arguing its better to spend a few bucks on elections and get accountability than let special interests finance them and walk away with favors.
He has a little proposal of his own to suggest as well:
The voter initiative would be simple: If you can't vote for somebody, you can't give the candidate a campaign contribution.
If you're a high roller or a corporate executive, and you've got money to burn for helping somebody's election chances -- fine. Just spend the money on a campaign you conduct on your own. Buy your own ad. Print up fliers and hire kids to hand them out. Appear on radio or TV yourself, praising your candidate or blasting her opponent.
You'd have to disclose what you spend. And you couldn't quietly coordinate tactics with the candidate's campaign.
Well, I fear it falls afoul of the Buckley v Valeo "money as speech" precedent, but cleaves to the same principles of local, voter engagement over outside special interest money influence. Good to start the debate, anyway.