Last week, local newspapers published financial reports of state and federal candidates. Unfortunately, for the mass media, raising money is becoming synonymous with winning. Our elections are becoming less about debating the critical issues facing our state and nation, and more about marketing and negative campaigning.
At the same time, Public Regulation Commission candidate Danny Maki declared that he would not be using public campaign financing. His donation report shows exactly why we need public financing in this important post. Maki avoided directly breaking the campaign code restrictions on who can donate to PRC candidates (see the below post for more on this trend), but he is clearly an industry insider, or trying to become one.
It is way beyond time to break this cycle. On top of what is happening with candidates, we can also expect to see over the top spending by independent groups due to the Supreme Court's ridiculous ruling in Citizens United. Election 2012 will certainly be the most expensive in US history, but people power can overcome corporate power. It's up to us to make sure it does.
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