Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Everyone talks about money in politics, but nobody does anything

Death Knell May Be Near for Public Election Funds - New York Times

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 — The public financing system for presidential campaigns, a post-Watergate initiative hailed for decades as the best way to rid politics of the corrupting influence of money, may have quietly died over the weekend.

This is why campaign finance schemes like matching funds and voluntary spending limits don't work. The only campaign finance reform that works is Clean Money/Clean Elections, a voluntary publicly funded system that's changing the political landscape in Arizona, Maine, Connecticut and the cities of Albuquerque and Portland. John McCain--Mr. Campaign Finance Reform himself before he dropped his principles to become a presidential candidate--supported this kind of reform.

Clean Elections is a bipartisan movement with major support from figures on the right and left, who say
Congress would only have to spend $6 per citizen per year to publicly fund each and every election for the House, the Senate and the White House. When you consider that "pork barrel" projects cost every one of us more than $200 last year alone, it’s no contest.
Many of the political outrages we rail about--however dire--are symptoms of our campaign finance system and will arise endlessly until we solve the problem of money in politics. I've long wondered why the progressive community doesn't put more of their energy into this core issue. It hardly ever arises on Daily Kos discussions, for instance. Any ideas?


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