23 February 2006

Reformed Campaign Finance in Maine & Arizona

With so many strong feelings over the Hackett-Brown “dramedy,” it is important not to lose sight of the most important and fundamental issue, and that is campaign finance reform. The viability of an individual’s candidacy is too dependent on money. That should be the last thing to determine who runs and who doesn’t.

Eric Fingerhut also exited the Gubernatorial race because of fundraising problems. He had the same problem in his ’04 run against Voinovich. As it turns out, Fingerhut is a very independent thinker and has a number of worthwhile ideas that deserve to be heard. But they never will because it’s all about money, not ideas. This was made much worse in Ohio last year by House Bill 1, the campaign finance "reform" billdoggle the Repubicans pushed through the legislature.

Can it be changed? Can it work better? It looks like yes and yes:

In 48 states, the skyrocketing cost of campaigns shows no sign of slowing down. The money chase has gotten so bad that Congress does little work on Mondays or Fridays and most evenings of the week, as members have to devote precious hours to dialing donors for dollars.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In two states, Arizona and Maine, campaign finance reform is opening the election process to newcomers and helping to break the lock wealthy special interests have on the legislative process.

[Yes Magazine…]

(via Kevin Drum)

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