Saturday, November 7, 2009

Public Campaign Financing in Albuquerque's Municipal Election

According to the New Mexico Independent, and other sources, the public campaign financing system used in last month's Albuquerque municipal election was a great success. This was the second time the system has been used in Albuquerque elections, and the first to feature the mayor's race. All three of the mayoral candidates participated in the system, which limited their spending to the $325,000 each received form the public campaign financing fund established by the city.

“The system worked as intended,” says Steve Allen, executive director of Common Cause, a government watchdog group. “It cut corrupting special interest money out of the mayoral campaign so that the eventual winner would not have to feel beholden to large private donors rather than the citizens of Albuquerque.”

The article goes on to address the role PACs played in the election and to discuss possible improvements to the city's oversight role. Another point of consideration is whether the system is too difficult to qualify for,as two well known potential candidates failed to gather enough $5 contributions. We look forward to the city's analysis of the system.

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