Thursday, June 08, 2006

Update on the Primary

Remember I said I had been working for one of the two top candidates in my Assembly district?

Well, as of today, the race is too close to be decided, and we'll have to wait until the absentee ballots are counted. But the big surprise was, neither my candidate or the developer-funded candidate came out on top. At the last minute, people said they were turned off by the vast number of mailers sent out not only by the candidates, but by independent groups either for or against them.

The third candidate, who sent out relatively few mailers, took the race. (Though I suspect him of being involved in a last minute hit piece against my candidate.)

This is bad for my candidate, who was the better of two good candidates, in my opinion. But it's good news for those of us concerned about the increasing role of money in politics. The people said, "You can bombard me with only a certain number of ads before I get fed up and you lose me."

Both of the losing candidates claim they had no control over the independent expenditures, which are legal only if the candidates has nothing to do with them. People argue hotly over whether that's true or not, but the fact is that Clean Money campaign finance would put a stop to this nonsense.

That's because, the candidates who choose Clean Money public funds get their funding increased whenever the opponent (OR INDEPENDENT GROUPS SUPPORTING THE OPPONENT) outspends them.

So if you run "clean" and some industry group publishes an ad for your opponent or against you, you get the equivalent cost of their mailer immediately deposited into your funding account. You can use it to further your campaign any way you want, unlike the IE group, which is under some constraints. The more IEs supporting your opponent, the better things are for you. This would put a stop to IEs in a hurry.


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