Public Financing

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First and Last

Well, it would appear we're not the only ones watching the presidential money chase and shaking our heads. Newsday has the practice of bundling in its sights, calling for mandatory disclosure of bundlers first, with a refurbished public financing program to follow.

Pinpointing the Problem

An article in The Seattle Times on earmarks for defense spending and its correlation to campaign contributions received by Washington legislators has touched a nerve for readers and sparked this point/counterpoint in the letters to the editor section about the need to address this problem via full public financing of campaigns.

Back from the Dead?

Conventional wisdom wranglers were quick to toss the presidential public financing system into an early grave a few months back, now here's an interesting take on what may bring the system back from the brink: a crazy-long campaign season driving candidates into debt.

Public Platform

Boy, John Edwards has taken the public financing ball and run with it. In the Concord Monitor piece about a campaign stop Edwards made in New Hampshire he uses his time on the stump to underline his opposition to campaign donations from lobbyists, and his support for public financing of federal campaigns.

How Do You Feel About Democracy?

The Midwest Democracy Network has a question for the 2008 slate of presidential candidates: what will you do to strengthen our democracy? They've sent a questionnaire, which you can read here, to the candidates asking for their positions on issues like public financing of presidential and congressional races, to voter registration, to what should be done about the "revolving door" between Congress and the lobby sector.

Owned and Operated

The Nation is held a student writing contest and one of the five finalists, Ned Resnikoff, a high school student from Middletown, Connecticut wrote this piece on the presidential race, and what he terms the "political third rail" of curtailing the power of corporations, and the influence they exert on elections and policy.

All Over The Place

This was clearly the weekend to write about Clean Elections! Papers in Iowa, Alaska, and Tennessee featured positive letters or editorials in support of public financing of campaigns -- we're sooo trendy.

Caller On the Line

Senator and presidential candidate Chris Dodd was on NPR's On Point last night for an extended question and answer session with callers primarily from Iowa and New Hampshire. Towards the end of the program, a caller from Ames, Iowa asked for Dodd's position on public financing of elections, in particular the Fair Elections Now Act sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin and Arlen Specter. Listen to the clip here.

Take the Cue

The occasion of John Edwards' decision to use public financing for his presidential bid, and the subsequent chin-wagging about what a risk this is, prompts USA Today to express displeasure that the public financing program has fallen behind the times, and to urge the federal government to take a cue from the states and move towards a Clean Elections model for presidential races.

Bit of a Pickle

Candidates, we have a very special offer for you today. Behind door number one: you can show your support for public financing of elections by opting into the presidential public financing system, and in turn cast doubt on the viability of your candidacy!