Build Capital with Public Financing

The political season seems old already, because of the need for perpetual fundraising. In order to “compete” in the modern campaign, candidates for federal office must spend, on average, 4-6 hours per day calling donors.

In colloquial terms, this is known as “dialing for dollars.”

The fundraising dynamic is nothing new to politics. It’s just that the numbers have grown at an almost exponential rate over the past decade.

The advent of Internet fundraising has helped level the playing field in terms of giving smaller donors a meaningful way of participating. But donors, who call themselves bundlers, rangers, or any other campaign-created distinction reserved for the wealthy, are still driving fundraising for federal candidates.

So why do candidates perpetuate this madness? The short answer is because they’ve been told this is what it takes to win.

In all fairness, the presidential public financing system has not kept up with inflation and thus must be repaired. Candidates need to believe they are not unilaterally disarming by accepting public financing. Accordingly, when the new Congress convenes next year, there must be immediate action taken to fix the system and offer proper stipend amounts. Continue reading

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Santa Fe has chance to adopt “Voter-Owned Elections”

In the March 4th municipal election, Santa Feans will have a chance to join the ranks of states and cities across the nation that have opted for Clean Elections public financing.

On the ballot is Charter Amendment 4, which if passed, would set in motion a process for establishing public financing before May 2010.

Albuquerque voters adopted Clean Elections in 2005 by a staggering 69% to 31% margin. The new system was employed successfully for the first time by candidates in last October’s City Council elections. Continue reading