The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle devotes today's "Friday faceoff" column to opposing views on Clean Elections. The Clean Elections supporter touts the value in cutting the cord between special interest money and legislators, the detractor doesn't like the requirements placed on third party candidates.
Requirements for non-major party candidates have always been a particular sticking point in drafting Clean Elections legislation. How do you balance the interest in seeing a more diverse political landscape and broader debate with the very real need for accountability in dispersing public funds that demands a certain threshold of public support be met? I don't see how Clean Elections would make the situation for independent and third party candidates worse, as this particular opinion piece seems to imply, since the fundraising advantage has always lain with major party candidates. Besides, as this presidential race has shown us, candidates who are not party favorites can harness the organizing potential of the internet to garner financial and volunteer support outside the traditional networks of the politically engaged and connected.