Connecticut Passes Full Public Financing of Elections

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Here at the Daily DeLay we are used to writing about money and politics and ethics scandals. And no wonder, since Tom DeLay is our subject. Sometimes we write about other scandals, too, like Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's recent resignation after pleading guilty on bribery charges from campaign donors, or lobbyist Jack Abramoff's shenanigans with Indian tribes, or Sen. Bill Frist's curious choices about when he decides to sell health care stock.

Rarely do we get to write about the opposite of these scandals--about lawmakers taking a stand and voting for a new system that would help eliminate the too cozy relationship between elected officials and their well heeled donors.

But today we do.

Last night the Connecticut legislature made history when the House voted 82 to 65 in the wee hours of the morning to approve a Clean Elections bill. The House vote followed a 27 to 8 Senate vote hours before. Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell has indicated that she will sign the bill.

Connecticut will become the first state in the nation where the legislature and governor approved full public financing for their own races. It joins the ranks of Arizona and Maine among states with full public financing of statewide and legislative races. North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Vermont have Clean Money systems for some races, and the municipalities of Portland, Oregon and Albuquerque, New Mexico recently approved full public financing for citywide races.

"Voters won today and the Connecticut legislature made history when lawmakers approved full public financing of legislative and state-wide elections. Under this system, elected officials will be free to run without having to rely on lobbyist contributions or well heeled donors," said Nick Nyhart, Public Campaign's executive director, in a statement.

Congratulations are due to Connecticut's voters, who will enjoy a system that focuses on them rather than on wealthy donors.

The Connecticut news is traveling fast. Read some of the stories here:

Hartford Courant
The Washington Post
The New York Times
Newsday
Chicago Tribune
ABC News