The midterm elections will cost $2.6 billion dollars -- the most expensive in history. Candidates in competitive seats have to spend between $1 and $2 million to win. Many will spend much much more.
It's out of control, but there are working models of Clean Elections-style public financing of elections in states across the country (and on the ballot in California) to look to.
Yesterday I wrote about how these laws work. Today I'm sharing which candidates are willing to support them and put voters first, ahead of lobbyists, big donors, and powerful interests.
I posted a list of candidates
who signed the Voters First Pledge to clean up Congress, are likely to win their elections (many incumbents) or are in toss-up races. You can see all the candidates who signed at the Voters First Pledge site
In January, these elected officials will be among the leaders all of us will depend on to go the distance on real reform of the pay-to-play system. Yes, lobbying and ethics reforms are needed. But nothing breaks the nexus between the moneyed interests in Washington, DC, and our elected officials like Clean Elections-public financing.
There are many more who have campaigned on this issue but have not yet the pledge, like Gary Trauner in WY-AL (full disclosure: an organization I direct, Campaign Money Watch, ran the "Slap" ad in WY to put Rep. Cubin's threat to slap her opponent back into the debate), who is campaigning on their support for public financing.
Take a look at the list. Who's missing? Any anecodotes of candidates campaigning on these themes we should now about? This election may close with the issue of Iraq in the headlines, but corruption and cleaning up the mess in Washington will also be a mandate voters give the next Congress.