Clean Elections (An Introduction)
- Publicly funded elections are essential to break the link between private money and government policy.
- In the 2012 election cycle, candidates for public office raised billions of dollars to finance their campaigns. Much of this money came from corporations, their employees and wealthy individuals.
- Wealthy donors become the real constituents of elected officials. Workers, the aged, the infirmed and the working poor rarely have access to their elected officials. This is especially true at federal and state levels of government.
- The states of Maine, Arizona and Connecticut have discovered a way to break the link between campaign finance and government policy. Each of these states has passed a "clean election law."
- These laws vary in detail, but each provides public funding and campaign
spending limits for "clean election candidates" running for state offices.
- Participation in clean election programs is voluntary, and candidates can still elect to run a campaign funded with private money. Because clean election programs are voluntary, limitations on freedom of political expression do not exist.
- These laws level the playing field between incumbents and challengers, and free candidates to spend their time listening, learning, and reviewing pending legislation.
- In 2002 and 2006, Arizona elected and re-elected, a clean election candidate as governor. This candidate used only public money for her primary and general election campaigns.
- Clean election funding will be provided through the elimination of government waste, mismanagement and cost overruns that the current system of campaign finance encourages.