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View Diary: The Fair Elections Now Act (99 comments)

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  •  Just so you're clear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is voluntary.  A candidate could choose to fundraise in the traditional fashion still.  The idea is to make the incentives strong enough that candidates would choose to opt-in.

    But my making it voluntary, you avoid all the constitutional mess of having to overrule Buckley, etc.

    •  i would like to see (3+ / 0-)
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      Hornito, renaissance grrrl, jzaharoff

      I love this and I blogged it.  Nice job, Adam.  

      One question.  This is going to layer one level of incentives on top of a whole series of other regulations that are very confusing.  Does this in any way simplify or increase the complexity of the non-public financing regulatory system?  I'm worried about complexity and to the extent that this can reduce complexity it will have additional bonuses.  And frankly, if it can reduce regulations on money going into the system and just provides an alternative organizing-based model that is competitive with corporate donations and wealthy bundling then you could possibly pick up some right-wing support.

      •  It's a complicated question (0+ / 0-)

        Because when candidates opt into the system, there are still going to be private citizens who want to influence elections and have the money to do so, whether rich or tiny.  That money's instead going to go into groups that create independent expenditures not coordinated with the campaigns -- PACs, 527s, etc. -- and though these sums will be matched by the "fair fight" funds, there's an fair external question as to whether it's a net positive for our politics to have an increased amount of campaign-related speech produced by folks who aren't accountable at the ballot box.

        Does that answer the question?

        •  Kudos (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          First, great to see this blogged on the front page and  I'm glad to see it highlighted here.

          Second, Matt's question is a good one--I think the Maine and Arizona voters' positive experiences are the best answer we have to why this does seem to be a "net positive" for our democratic system.

      •  There is a minimal... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam B

        additional requirement for candidates not participating in this system. They have to file additional reports with the amount that they spent above the set spending limit so that the participating candidate can receive fair fight funds. That's it, and it's meant to minimally impact how a privately-financed candidate runs. The same applies to outside money that targets participating candidates with TV/radio ads.

        We are trying to create an alternative way that is attractive for candidates. If the spending limits are appropriate for a candidate to run a viable campaign, and the thresholds to enter are adequate to ensure that candidates have to do demonstrate broad public support to qualify, then they work. That's what the state laws tell us, and that's what this bill would do.

        As for a competitive model of corporate vs. non-corporate money, well, that's what we have right now, and I don't think there's a way to set a level playing field between organizations. What we can do is ensure that the people we elect can respond without holding out their hands to the small slice of America's who can give.

        Great questions and concerns, Matt. And thanks for posting this yesterday.

    •  And it aint only pro-progressive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B

      It isn't the case that only progressives get elected with clean money laws.  Look at Arizona, where carrying a gun in a bar is lawful. . .

      This is us governing. Live so that 100 years from now, someone might be proud of us.

      by marthature on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 09:23:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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