"Clean" Elections: Time to End It?

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Bob Stone
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"Clean" Elections: Time to End It?

I realize ending Clean Elections will be very unpopular with politicians and media (for different reasons), but I would like to see Clean Elections ended.

(1) A candidate for state office should be able to demonstrate to the voters that s/he has the skills to raise funds to support a campaign.

(2) Taxpayers would no longer support the campaigns of many people who are working against their interests.

Your thoughts?

Robert
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Joined: 04/01/2005 - 1:01am
I think it should be put to

I think it should be put to the voters again. I would not vote for it this time.

Earl Nickerson . Jr
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Joined: 11/24/2002 - 1:01am
It should be ended but I

It should be ended but I agree with Robert , it should go back to the voters..With the simple campaign of "Ending Welfare For Politicians and the MILLIONS wasted , it would go down easy...

ldwight
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Last seen: 7 years 4 months ago
Joined: 10/07/2005 - 12:01am
This is a bad law. There are

This is a bad law. There are three things which are horrible:

1. Forcing citizens to pay up to fund opinions and attack adds against a candidate who they would not support and whose message is anathema to their views.

2. Lack of transparency and accountability. By receiving money not from supporters, it is impossible to see who is supporting what candidate.

3. It gives a huge advantage to buy airtime early to the ones that receive the funds during a primary and especially during a general election. By only 'priming the pump' early to the 'clean elections' candidate, they then only have to wait for the expenditures of the 'non-clean elections candidate' to replenish their coffers. PS It didn't help this year anyway, because someone like Elliot Cutler had the money to buy early as well.

It also makes the candidates lazy. They do not have to go mingle with people and hear directly from them what is on their minds.

Naran
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I would support seeing

I would support seeing another vote on the program. I also agree with another thread, which proposes renaming the program.

"TaxSuported Elections" would work well for me.

Bruce Libby
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DID THE MOONBAT LIBERALS GIVE

DID THE MOONBAT LIBERALS GIVE A DAMN ABOUT VOTER SENTIMENT WHEN IT CAME TO MARRIAGE LAW? NO!
If the votes are there kill it dead period, here is the shtick:
"It is not because we don't want to, we cannot afford it"

"It is for the children"!!!!!!!!

J. McKane
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Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 05/22/2005 - 12:01am
I have my doubts as to

I have my doubts as to whether it would be repealed or not. It can be shrunk without voter input.

It should be ended for gubenatorial candidates. Legislators could get one or two, not four elections funded with taxpayer money.

And remember, Democrats have much more money than we have so if it gets down to dumping unlimited money into races, Democrats win - just look at Chellie's race - bought and paid for with Sussman cash.

Dan Billings
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Democrats have raised more

Democrats have raised more money because they have been in the majority.

Editor
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Joined: 04/18/2009 - 3:43pm
End it. skf

End it.

skf

pmrmsm
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Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 05/08/2006 - 10:52am
I had a friend that was

I had a friend that was running for a county office this year. She is against Clean Elections, but said that if it was going to be available, it should be available to those running for a county wide seat as well ... like Sheriff, Deeds, Probate, DA.

Whereas the State Legislators cover a limited area ... meaning a house district could be a single town or a senate district could be 6 towns. That is a big difference from York or Cumberland Counties which has 28 and 29 towns.

Me, I think it should be done away with for everybody. Let them use their connections to raise the money they need. People don't just run for office without some contacts to get them started.

J. McKane
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Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 05/22/2005 - 12:01am
People don't just run for

People don't just run for office without some contacts to get them started.

Oh is that right?

Bruce Libby
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The premise behind it "the

The premise behind it "the evils of big money/influence" has never been shown to have done anything illegal etc. IMHO. If something is so bad it should be illegal and then a act should be proven and prosecuted.

My opinion about CE is no different than the prevailing opinion/myth that created it! Proof of this if true should be the lefts' darling restauranter/congresswomen "ahead of the curve "Pingree w/ the "Donald $". but they love that!

Michelle Anderson
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I vote to kill it.

I vote to kill it.

Publius V. Publicola
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Kill it. If you can't raise

Kill it. If you can't raise enough money to run a race on your own, you don't deserve a taxpayer bailout.

Beth O'Connor
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Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: 04/28/2005 - 12:01am
"Me, I think it should be

"Me, I think it should be done away with for everybody. Let them use their connections to raise the money they need. People don't just run for office without some contacts to get them started."

hmmm, and I thought individual incentive and initiative played a role.

It should be sent out to the people they put it in, they should have the opportunity to kill it and as stated above, it is likely they will.

Editor
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Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 3:43pm
An alternative: Have a

An alternative: Have a private entity open/administer a bank account where anyone can donate money for Clean Elections candidates. Everyone who thinks public funding is a plus can cut checks to "Maine's Clean As a Whistle Campaign" Fund.

skf

Jim Cyr
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Joined: 06/27/2005 - 12:01am
That's a good idea, Scott. I

That's a good idea, Scott. I would probably keep the CE fund but shrink it, and make some major changes. It should be more of a backstop for candidates who are really poor, and it shouldn't hamstring opponents as much as it does. Maybe give a CE candidate a dollar for every dollar they actually raise, with a pretty low ceiling?

pmrmsm
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Oh heck, why not do it this

Oh heck, why not do it this way. The larger coverage your area, the larger the amount you are entitled to ... the smaller your coverage area the smaller the amount you are entitled to.

Meaning your House District is 1 town so get very little money because you won't need to advertise in as many newspapers, or buy so many signs, ect... Compared to somebody who has 6 towns in their House District who may need to advertise in multiple newspapers, buy a large quantity of signs, ect...

Mike Lange
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Kill it. If someone started a

Kill it. If someone started a petition drive today, they wouldn't have any problem getting enough signatures. Anyhow, money alone doesn't guarantee success at the polls. Ask Bob Monks.

J. McKane
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Does anyone know how many of

Does anyone know how many of the 38 new Republicans used MCEF?

J Fred
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I would vote to end taxpayer

I would vote to end taxpayer funding of political campaigns. It need not be sent back to the people. Legislators, do your job.

Scott Thomas
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I used MCEF. I didn't even

I used MCEF. I didn't even know what it was, when I agreed at the very last minute to be a replacement candidate. When I found out what it was, I didn't want to use it, but since I had not planned to run I had very few contacts and no funds, accepted the advice of others and ran as a clean candidate.

Without some form of funding, I might as well have stayed out of it. While I didn't win, another late replacement GOP candidate (as late as I was) did win. I'm confident that she was in the same situation - unknown and no funds, asked to run at the very last minute.

Undoubtedly stepping in at the very last minute is not the recommended strategy for winning elections. However, if we expect people to step forward in that way, we need a way to help them raise funds quickly. MCEF may not be the best answer, but if we want to avoid using taxpayer funds (and I would like to see us stop using taxpayer funds for campaigns) we need to find a way to help these last-minute replacement candidates find funding.

Don Jones
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Just end taxpayer-funded

Just end taxpayer-funded political campaigns. Scott's idea of a voluntary clean election fund is misguided because it keeps the concept alive, and will lead to continuation of goverment meddling (regulation) in privately run campaigns,just to make it fair for clean candidates. If a privately funded campaign wants to hire the candidate's wife, son or brother-in-law and hand out pumpkins for Halloween so what.

Bruce Libby
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kill it and reduce cost of

kill it and reduce cost of campaigns, limit them in duration!

Thrasybulus
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Joined: 03/16/2008 - 9:59pm
Whatever you prune just comes

Whatever you prune just comes back stronger when the seasons change. If you would eliminate something, tear it out by the roots. Shooting alligators may be fun, but draining the swamp will lead to real progress.

By the way, the Maine elections are historic in another sense - this is the only state in history to recover a Republican Majority after the adoption of a taxpayer financed election scheme. This was always a Dem trojan horse to get the public to pay for its own "supervision".

J Fred
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Wonderful post, Thrasy'.

Wonderful post, Thrasy'. Don't prune it, pull it out by the roots.

PressMan247
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The whole MCEA law has to go,

The whole MCEA law has to go, and I say that despite the fact that our company has benefited under clean elections. Being in the marketing business, we've made much more money during political season since clean elections came about... but the fact of the matter remains that lots of unqualified candidates continue to get on the ballot who never would run if they had to go out and raise their own funds... from both sides of the aisle.

Jeff Martin
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Joined: 03/16/2008 - 7:26pm
Actually, I view MCEF as a

Actually, I view MCEF as a political contributor subsidy and not politician welfare.

As a candidate, I'm going to raise the funds I need no matter what as it's my job. But, almost every single time I give a contributor a choice to donate $100 or $5 the contributor will take the $95 tax subsidy.

My thoughts on clean elections is;

-end it for Governor races
-end matching funds
-set the minimum clean checks to an amount higher than it currently is to qualify
-Raise the cap on seed money and make a minimum requirement of seed money raised to qualify

Bob Stone
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Two scenarios: 1. MCEF in

Two scenarios:

1. MCEF in place

A candidate is wise to use it. If you raise more than the MCEF funding, the opponent gets matching funds. Why work your butt off to raise funds when the opponent receives tax payer funded largesse?

2. MCEF repealed

You spend what you raise. Eat what you kill. Can't raise money? Better get out there and knock on doors.

Mr. Magoo
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Last seen: 4 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/16/2008 - 12:27pm
From the perspective of one

From the perspective of one who has served as a campaign treasurer for a successful Republican candidate for the last two elections, I think I would favor doing away with it. My candidate raised over $15,000 through the primary and general election through hard work and good contacts. Our main opponent was a clean election candidate and it was frustrating - the more we raised, the more we funded the opponent. We were fortunate in that there was no outside money directed at us, but that was the case with several area candidates. Whether or not there is a clean election program in place the outside money will continue to play a huge role. I think it probably helped us overall in the legislative races, but it did kill us in the 1st district congressional race and nearly killed us in the governor's race.

Jeff Martin
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Joined: 03/16/2008 - 7:26pm
Bob, Which is why we should

Bob, Which is why we should do away with matching funds.

Your second point is not reality in many cases. It sounds like you've never been involved in collecting $5 checks for qualifying. Running private doesn't mean knocking on doors. My opponent raised 100% of his funds from lobbyist, government connections, and PACs and didn't knock a local door the entire campaign. With running clean you have no choice but to knock on a few hundred doors and make a few hundred phone calls to local voters to get the 175 checks needed.

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