Cross the Aisle for Clean Elections

Control Congress is a website hosting bipartisan discussion on what Congress ought to be working on. Contributor Jack Lohman devotes this post to puzzling out why there isn't more cross-aisle agreement on the subject of full public financing of elections, given the success of Clean Elections systems in both Democrat and Republican-dominated states.

He argues that members on both sides of aisle have much to gain from eliminating even the perception of corruption among our elected officials, and saving taxpayer dollars from being spent on special interest handouts.

 

But why do conservative pundits oppose eliminating the corruption? Must they have it to win? Isn’t there a better way? Why does anybody prefer a moneyed political system that transfers taxpayer assets to the fat cats that fund the elections, and always at a major loss to taxpayers?


Conservatives rail against excess government spending and taxes, yet they support the very pay-to-play system that fuels them. Are they totally detached from the meaning of money? Money works, or it wouldn’t be given.

 

Pundits may oppose the idea, but lawmakers of all stripes have embraced Clean Elections in the states, and let's not forget that the Fair Elections Now Act in the Senate, and its companion legislation in the House, enjoy bipartisan sponsorship. Some of the strongest supporters of Clean Elections in places like Arizona and New Jersey have been conservative lawmakers tired of seeing wasteful spending that props up the money-hungry private financing system.

Lohman asks the right questions here -- not about why should you support Clean Elections, but why wouldn't you?