What Comes Next

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Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institute was a champion of the McCain-Feingold reforms, and his analysis helped get the law passed. Now, as he explains in an interview with Abby Rapoport at The American Prospect, he is leaning more towards what can be done with public financing of campaigns, both fixing the presidential system and creating a Congressional system.

From the interview:

AR: Is there a future for public financing at other levels, like congressional and state races?

I've long supported public financing at all levels of government but I think the courts interpreting the constitution have put up real obstacles to systems as we once defined them as full public financing. I'm now inclined to look for other ways of using public subsidies to enrich to resources available to candidates, to foster greater competition, to try to reduce the money chase. To see if we can't build on new forms of campaigning that might reduce the cost of campaigns.

I just feel that campaigns are not the same as they were forty years ago when the current structures were put in place. And we need to acknowledge that, to see the changes that are coming and to try think creatively about how to manage this.