Not Dead Just Different

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Marianne Means at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer laments that unwritten rule of running for President: you better be rich, or know plenty of rich people, to have a chance. Unfortunately she also seems to think that public financing of elections is no longer possible: it is, just not in the current model of the presidential public financing system.

Well-conceived in the wake of Watergate the presidential public financing program has not kept pace with the meteoric rise in campaign costs. A new model, based on Fair and Clean Elections programs, should be implemented (as bills in the House and Senate propose for congressional races) to level the playing field and allow candidates who go the public financing route to be competitive.

I'm glad Means is speaking out about the dominant role money plays in elections -- and in determining the candidate pool from which we voters must choose -- but she shouldn't be so quick to dismiss public financing as a solution. A new political reality calls for a new system and the Clean Elections model is the one to follow.