Alaskans reject taxpayer-financed political campaigns

Continues trend of voters rejecting such proposals at the ballot box

Alaskan voters soundly rejected a proposal to enact a system of taxpayer-financed political campaigns in yesterday’s statewide primary.

"Alaskans spoke loud and clear, they do not want their tax dollars spent funding political campaigns and they do not want government in charge of political speech," said Sean Parnell, president of the Center for Competitive Politics and no relation to Alaska’s lieutenant governor.

With nearly 98 percent of precincts reporting, Ballot Measure 3 trails 35.44 percent to 64.56 percent.  The failed effort to bring publicly-financed campaigns to Alaska marks the second time in two years that proponents of government-financed elections have been resoundingly rebuffed at the ballot box.  In 2006, California voters rejected Proposition 89, which would have established a taxpayer-financed election system, 74.3 percent to 25.7 percent.

"Alaskans saw through the false promises of so-called "reformers" and recognized that recent political scandals in Alaska had little if anything to do with campaign contributions," Parnell observed. "Forcing taxpayers to pay for the campaigns of candidates they oppose was a backward step the Alaskans wisely rejected."

"These results should send a message to supporters of government-financed campaigns in other states," Parnell concluded.  "Voters do not want taxpayer-financed political campaigns."

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.