Clean Elections

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Not Impressed

Man, disillusionment with Sen. John McCain is running rampant these days. David Sirota, in his most recent column, courtest of the San Francisco Chronicle, writes about his past admiration for the Senator that has suffered in light of McCain's recent compromises on issues like Clean Elections, and combating the influence of money in politics. Don't betray a reformers trust, John.

News You Can Use

The Calvin College chapter of Democracy Matters makes the news for their efforts to rally support behind the Fair Elections Now Act in the Senate, and public funding of elections as the state and federal level. Great work by the students, and a very positive story!

Faces of Reform

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle devotes today's "Friday faceoff" column to opposing views on Clean Elections. The Clean Elections supporter touts the value in cutting the cord between special interest money and legislators, the detractor doesn't like the requirements placed on third party candidates.

Clean Elections Introduced In New York

Elizabeth Benjamin at the New York Daily News covers New York City Council member Tony Avella's introduction yesterday of Clean Elections legislation to cover city races, an upgrade on New York's existing matching funds program. The article's a bit dismissive of Clean Elections in general but does mention the precedent for pursuing new campaign finance solutions in the city.

Maryland ad

Earlier in the week, our partners in Maryland put a full page ad in the Baltimore Sun highlighting the correlation between electricity deregulation and campaign contributions from the industry. See the ad below:



Extracurricular Lobbying

Even as Connecticut's legislative candidates have the chance to run with Clean Elections public financing for the first time this year, the state legislature is still chewing over ethics and corruption questions. Now they are debating whether to prohibit registered lobbyists from serving on state boards and commissions.

Headed for the Small Time

One of the interesting peripheral stories on the presidential campaign has been the innovative online donation strategies of candidates like Sen. Barack Obama and Rep. Ron Paul to recruit small donors to their effort. This Los Angeles Times story talks about what that shift in strategy has yielded for Obama, and what it means for a move away from traditional big donors politics.

Institute Change

Ray Metcalfe writes at the Alaska Report that the state is the victim of "institutionalized corruption" on the part of its legislators that has put money in the pockets of a few, at the expense of honest public servants. The Goodfellas poster mock-up is pretty funny.

Bopp Backwards

I could scratch my head until I hit grey matter and I still wouldn't understand this one. James Bopp Jr., a lawyer with a history of challenging campaign finance limits, has filed suit alleging that New York City's new limits on donations from industries that do business with the city is discriminatory against...minority candidates. Points for creativity, Mr. Bopp, but the logic leaves something to be desired.

Small Problem

There's been a lot of talk about the rising power of the small donor in this presidential campaign, from the talk of Barack Obama's large internet fundraising base to Ron Paul's record-breaking online contribution numbers. This article in Business Week investigates the small donor narrative and finds that, for all the hype, big donors are still where the power lies.