Firing Back

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Wow, West Virginia's Charleston Daily Mail is becoming the latest sounding board for Clean Elections. Following a negative editorial on public financing we saw Carol Warren's editorial yesterday, now a letter from Craig Dunkerley of San Jose, CA in today's edition. The letter , which praises Clean Elections is available here (fourth down) and in it's entirety after the jump.


The Daily Mail’s editorial regarding public financing of state elections was riddled with misleading cliches and factual errors. Enacting public financing of elections, as advocated by Delegate Tim Manchin, would be the single best thing we could do to ensure that our public officials are free to represent taxpayers instead of whatever private interests funded their last campaign. The reason the presidential system no longer works is because the funding levels have not kept pace with the costs of modern campaigns, and because there’s no provision to provide additional funding for participating candidates who are outspent by privately funded candidates trying to buy their way into office. These shortcomings could easily be fixed. Arizona and Maine — two states with almost polar opposite political cultures — have proved over the last 10 years that this kind of non-partisan impartial public funding works to reduce the influence of special-interest money in politics and to make government more accountable to voters instead of big donors. Lastly, public financing of elections is not intended to “level the playing field” between political parties; it levels the field between wealthy private interests who currently overwhelm our electoral process, and the broader public interest of taxpayers and voters. I hope readers will call their representatives and urge their support of this reform.

Craig Dunkerley

San Jose, Calif.