Tuesday, May 23, 2006

public campaign financing - an answer to corporatism?

Did you know that we could have elections, free of corporate dollars, in this country, for about six dollars a person. Imagine all candidiates on a level playing field, not owing their votes to Wallmart or Exxon?

Sound too good to be true? Read this, from just6dollars.org/

Congress would only have to spend $6 per citizen per year to publicly fund each and every election for the House, the Senate and the White House. When you consider that "pork barrel" projects cost every one of us more than $200 last year alone, it’s no contest.

Think of it. With public funding, wealthy special interests and their hired lobbyists would no longer have a commanding influence over our politics and government. Instead of begging for campaign donations, candidates would spend their time communicating with voters. Once elected, our leaders would be free to focus on our nation's challenges rather than having to worry about financing their next campaign. And there's no doubt that more of our most able leaders would run for federal office when the ability to finance a campaign isn't such a daunting obstacle.

Americans for Campaign Reform is building a nonpartisan grassroots movement of citizens who support voluntary public funding and want Congress to act now. We can make this happen. Public funding is already working in Arizona and Maine, and was just passed by the Connecticut legislature.

As citizens we can complain about the corrosive influence of our election finance system, or we can do something about it. With your help, we can mobilize citizens across the country and put pressure on Congress to enact real reform.
It's getting rave reviews, where it's been enacted: (from yubanet.com)
The Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) released Keeping It Clean: Public Financing in American Elections, the first comprehensive effort to analyze and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of state and local public campaign financing systems in the United States. As corruption scandals envelope candidates and public officials at all levels of government, frustrated members of the public are seeking ways to reduce the role that private money plays in the political process. This major new report concludes that public campaign financing can resolve many of the campaign finance and electoral problems that currently plague the political process.

[snip]

Keeping It Clean details the positive effects of public campaign financing programs in numerous jurisdictions: more candidates, more competition, more voter participation and less influence-peddling. With a spate of political scandals at the federal, state and local levels, the trend toward more jurisdictions adopting public financing is growing. "We are currently in the ‘decade of public financing’," states Bob Stern, CGS President. "More jurisdictions across the nation are considering adopting or improving public campaign financing systems than ever before."
If it gets corporate money out of politics, I'm all for it. We need this now more than ever.

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