Arnold Hiatt, the former CEO of StrideRite and a prolific campaign donor, wants to decrease his own influence on elections. In this editorial for the Boston Globe he urges support of the Fair Elections Now Act in the Senate, and its companion bill in the House to create a public financing option for congressional races.
Hiatt, who testified at the first hearing for the Fair Elections Now Act before the Senate Rules committee is tired of seeing our democratic system eroded by the money chase and its attendant corruption scandals. He's also tired of a system that values the dollars a constituent can give, over the vote he can cast:
Over the years, I have given large sums of money to elect candidates of competence and compassion of both parties. Ironically, I designated my funds to those who would end the ability of people like me to give large contributions to political parties. My own special interest is to get special-interest money out of the political process. The influence of that money indirectly costs taxpayers far more than the costs of liberating the electoral process from the special-interest lobbyists.
Just because I've been in a position to contribute doesn't mean I should have more say in who gets elected. Under the Fair Elections Now Act, everyone will have the same ability to finance elections by making a $5 qualifying contribution to help a candidate receive public funding.
Take it from someone who has seen high-dollar fundraising from the inside -- Fair Elections is a better alternative.