Good Start

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Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly has a letter to the editor in today's Philadelphia Inquirer praising the new campaign donation limits passed by the city, but urging a move towards Clean Elections public financing as outlined in the Philadelphia Fair and Clean Elections pledge signed by Democratic and Republican mayoral candidates and several city council candidates.

Below is the text of the letter:


Campaign law a start

Re: "City's new campaign law called a winner," May 21: While it is positive that unlimited donations are no longer permitted in city elections, Philadelphia's campaigns still are dominated by those who can write and bundle large checks to candidates for mayor and City Council.

"Clean Elections"-style public financing would allow qualified candidates to demonstrate broad support through small donations before receiving a limited amount of public money. Under this system, participating candidates outspent by millionaire opponents or "527" committees would receive matching funds to keep pace, up to a limit.

Seven states and two cities have laws based on this model. A federal bill authored by Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has been introduced. Michael Nutter, the Democratic nominee for mayor, and Al Taubenberger, the Republican nominee, have signed a pledge to support such a reform, as have 11 of the Council candidates.

David Donnelly

National Campaigns Director
Public Campaign Action Fund