"Clean" Elections Fiasco
October 19, 2002 3:10 PM   Subscribe

"Clean" Elections Fiasco I have the misfortune to be a voter in Arizona, a state which has instituted a so-called "Clean Elections" system, in which candidates who campaign a certain way qualify to be eligible for funding matching that of other candidates. The goals are to "eliminate special-interests" and "level the playing field", but it has backfired badly. How can I retain my political voice when contributions to my preferred candidate wind up being matched (with taxpayer money) for the other candidates? We're in the middle of a fiscal crisis in this state, and candidates are being funded with millions of dollars of campaign welfare taken from public funds, which (as always) is being used for mudslinging. What part of "Clean" is so confusing? I can only hope that my boy Jeff can work some miracles.
posted by oissubke (10 comments total)
 
You retain your political voice by voting for your political candidate, not by trying to insure they have enough money to shout down the other candidates. What's so difficult about that?

If you want to provide other, more direct support, put up signs, hold a rally, go and volunteer for the campaign... there's probably lots you can do, most of it more effective than a personal-level financial contribution anyhow.
posted by atholbrose at 3:22 PM on October 19, 2002


You retain your political voice by voting for your political candidate, not by trying to insure they have enough money to shout down the other candidates. What's so difficult about that?

I understand that, and I have been participating in other ways, but there's something hokey about the government negating my contributions by making equivalent contributions from public money to other candidates.

In addition, it gives a small government office (run by a non-elected official) the ability to make or break any candidate. One senior official was already fired for standing up for a candidate's actions when the office was busy sending out press releases about supposed wrongs (which were later found to have been caused by both spreadsheet errors and vague reporting guidelines).

It's really a mess here, and I (and other voters) have quickly become frustrated with the mess. The supposedly "Clean" candidates are running smear campaigns, and then getting additional funding every time a non-Clean-Elections candidate spends money to defend him- or herself.

The legislation passed primarily because of its name. Who would vote against "Clean" elections, after all? And naturally, the candidates are taking full advantage of the name to imply that anyone not participating in the program (the constitutionality of which is still being debated in the courts) is unquestionably "dirty".

I can understand welfare for the poor. I can understand welfare for the unemployed. But welfare for politicians?
posted by oissubke at 4:00 PM on October 19, 2002


I can understand welfare for the poor. I can understand welfare for the unemployed. But welfare for politicians?

It's welfare if it puts money in their pockets, makes their car payment or puts food on their table. This merely eliminates wealth, and specific promises made by the wealthy, as a deciding factor in who gets their message out.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:14 PM on October 19, 2002


I meant to say "promises made to the wealthy"...
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:15 PM on October 19, 2002


The legislation passed primarily because of its name. Who would vote against "Clean" elections, after all? And naturally, the candidates are taking full advantage of the name to imply that anyone not participating in the program (the constitutionality of which is still being debated in the courts) is unquestionably "dirty".

God, I hate it when the supporters of dumb legislation use clever names to simplfy and distort what they represent. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to pay for my partial-birth abortion now that the repeal of the Death Tax lets me afford it- provided it's allowed under the USA Patriot Act.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:50 PM on October 19, 2002


I swear, one of the days Hillary Clinton's going to run a universal health care package through congress as the "Clean Air and Puppy Protection Act".
posted by oissubke at 6:06 PM on October 19, 2002


Until it's shot down after being called "Socialized Air and Puppy Protection," right?

(Oh look, a set of rails, but where's the thread.......?)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:24 PM on October 19, 2002


Well, you get what you vote for. Has Arizona implemented a contributions cap?
posted by mischief at 6:28 PM on October 19, 2002


The government is obliged to each citizen equally; money should be of no consequence. I think this law is a clever step in that direction.
posted by dyaseen at 7:32 AM on October 21, 2002


The government is obliged to each citizen equally; money should be of no consequence. I think this law is a clever step in that direction.

It's a cute idea to consider in a "what if" sort of way. It's utterly ridiculous as law and a misuse of public funds in my opinion.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:37 AM on October 21, 2002


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