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Clean Elections

Overview

As an alternative to raising large sums of campaign cash to fund increasingly expensive campaigns, states can create a publicly-funded clean elections system for candidates who choose to forgo private donations. Strong arguments are available to progressives pursuing this reform. Publicly-funded elections free elected officials from the constant need to fundraise, and allow them to focus on public service, while reducing the ability of private donors to buy influence with officeholders.  Public financing also encourages new people without independent wealth to pursue elected office, increases competition by reducing the disparity in spending between candidates, and reduces the cost of campaigns as candidates accept voluntary spending limits.

Cleaning Up Corruption in the Statehouses

At the core of many voters' frustrations with government is the sense that, too often, politics is for sale. High-priced lobbyists offering "gifts" to lawmakers swarm state legislatures; companies looking for public contracts get too cozy with those handing out public money; and corporate campaign contributions grease the wheels as public policy is auctioned to the highest corporate bidder.