Clean Elections

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National Momentum, State Success

Tom Hester at Newsday notes that New Jersey's efforts to fight political corruption are starting to bear fruit with this year's successful Clean Elections pilot program. He places New Jersey's advances in the context of broader national momentum behind public financing by mentioning North Carolina's recent expansion of its public financing system to include some Council of State races, and Alaska's efforts behind a ballot initiative.

Follow the Voters

Alaska State Rep. Berta Gardner takes exception to allegations that the proposed Clean Elections program for state has a bias towards the left side of the aisle, making the point in this Anchorage Daily News editorial that concern over the excessive influence of money in politics transcends party boundaries among voters.

If you want to talk about the cost of public financing, writes Gardner, let's first talk about what the current system with all its boondoggles costs voters:

Alaska Ballot Initiative for Clean Elections

Here's a bit of good news for Alaskans, whose lawmakers can't seem to stay out of the way of the long arm of the law lately: a Clean Elections ballot initiative to create a public financing option for state campaigns has been certified by the Lieutenant Governor. Supporters can now gather signatures to place the initiative on the ballot next year.

Positive New Jersey Coverage

The Trenton Times has provided ample coverage of New Jersey's Clean Elections pilot project this year, and contributes another editorial in support of the project and its potential expansion today.

AaacK! More Corruption?

Another Alaska lawmaker in hot water: Rep. Don Young (Sen. Ted Stevens has had some of his dealings with the Veco corporation investigated and several state congressmen have been implicated in a corruption scandal). Young is in trouble on a number of fronts. He has ties to Abramoff, and his earmarking practices suggest he's rewarding big donors for filling his campaign coffers.

Denver Post Inches Towards Public Financing Support

The Denver Post dips its toes in public financing waters with this cautious editorial advocating better disclosure of how campaigns are funded. Their hesitance to endorse public financing for national or Colorado elections outright certainly stems from their assumption that it would follow the model of the current presidential public financing system.

Good Coverage in New Jersey

New Jersey's well into the second cycle of its Clean Elections pilot project in three legislative districts and the local newspapers are doing a good job about covering the qualifying process for candidates, and getting the word out about the Clean Elections programs.

 

New Jersey Candidates Go Clean

Cool article from New Jersey on the candidates participating in this year's three-district Clean Elections pilot program, who are learning the ins and outs of running the Clean Elections way. Though the article quips they're "being forced to run real door-to-door, grass-roots campaigns" it sounds like most are enjoying the challenge.

Talking Big Money in Big Sky

Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly was in Missoula, Montana yesterday to attend a forum sponsored by Forward Montana on political corruption and Clean Elections. He made an appearance on local news (see "forum on Clean Elections held at UM" under "Top Videos") and on Montana public radio (click here to download). Definitely listen to the radio piece; a substantive discussion of the issues at hand.

Upcoming Missoula Event

This article in The Missoula Indepedent discusses Montana's recent efforts on public financing of judicial races, the state's brush with the Jack Abramoff scandal in the form of former Senator Conrad Burns, and an upcoming event, sponsored by Forward Montana and featuring our David Donnelly, on political corruption and countering its influence.