Last week saw a flurry of campaign finance activity on the Philadelphia City Council surrounding a proposal by Councilor Jim Kenney to do away with campaign contribution limits. Kenney eventually pulled this proposal and others from consideration, a move the Philadelphia Inquirer praises while recommending that Kenney's proposal for public financing for municipal elections be given consideration in due time.
Doing away with contribution limits would have dis-empowered the average voter, allowing wealthy donors even more influence in city elections. By contrast, a full public financing system would bring voters back in as candidates would be able to focus more time on substantive voter contact and grassroots campaigning, rather than dialing for dollars. Let's hope Philadelphia revisits this proposal.