By Martin Austermuhle
Dozens of activists, former elected officials and current legislators spoke out Thursday on behalf of a D.C. bill that would create a system of public financing for local campaigns…
But while much of the hearing was an “Amen chorus,” as Council member Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) quipped, Tyler Martinez from the Center for Competitive Politics sounded a note of dissent on whether public financing of campaigns works – and whether it’s worth it.
“These programs have failed to live up to their lofty expectations, while wasting precious taxpayer dollars, and forcing citizens to subsidize the candidacies of individuals with which they may disagree on many issues, including at times highly controversial candidates whom many, if not most, taxpayers oppose,” he said.
Archives for June 2017
WAMU D.C. Public Radio: Should Taxpayers Help Underwrite Political Campaigns? A Majority of D.C. Council Says Yes (In the News)
By Martin Austermuhle
By Michael Thielen
Commissioner Weintraub has been championing brazen partisanship inside a federal agency bound by law and the legal scope and jurisdiction of the agency…
Former FEC Chairman Brad Smith wrote recently that Weintraub should resign immediately because her attacks against Trump and his White House Counsel Don McGahn are in danger of jeopardizing the real work and mission of the FEC.
“Weintraub has placed herself in a position where any participation by her in a matter involving the Trump campaign could jeopardize any agency finding against the campaign. . . . For some time now, Weintraub has apparently given up on the substantive work of the FEC in favor of pursuing her obsession with McGahn (who left the Commission nearly four years ago) and political grandstanding.”
Smith goes on from there to describe the often silly and unprofessional behavior Weintraub has exhibited in her crusade against Trump. Weintraub’s antics are embarrassing enough for a once-respected agency with a reputation for, if not pure impartiality, the ability to get the work done in spite of political differences.
Now, Weintraub threatens to make it nearly impossible for the FEC to remain impartial on any matter regarding President Trump.
This week, the Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle over its new “Democracy Vouchers” program. The system is a form of taxpayer financing for political campaigns that imposes $3 million a year in new property taxes in order to give each voter four $25 “vouchers” that they can then donate […]
Filed Under: Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing, Campaign Legal Center, Democracy Vouchers, Every Voice, Pacific Legal Foundation, Seattle, Washington
PDF available here Statement of Tyler Martinez Attorney, Center for Competitive Politics B22-0192, the “Fair Elections Act of 2017” Before the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety Council of the District of Columbia June 29, 2017 Chairman Allen and members of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, on behalf of the Center […]
Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State, State Comments and Testimony, Tax Financed Campaigns Comments, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing, District of Columbia, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey
National-level institutions such as the Supreme Court, congressional leadership, and the Federal Election Commission often see a partisan divide on disclosure. In these bodies, Democrats and their appointees are more likely to support expansive disclosure requirements, and Republicans and their appointees are more likely to support stronger privacy protections. This partisan division, however, is far […]
By Joe Albanese
American politics is corrupt. Big donors buy elections. Voters have no say in their government. These clichés are completely untrue. Sadly, many Americans take them for granted regardless. A major culprit is the countless stories during every election cycle suggesting there is too much money in politics – whether it’s overall political spending, out-of-state donations, or “outside” spending. Ironically, the media outlets that obsess the most over these contests are the first to object when Americans participate in them…
The negative portrayal of political spending, out-of-state donors, and “outside” groups in the media tends to convince readers that “money in politics” is a problem rather than an essential feature of our democracy. Money is essential to communicating with voters, and that’s where much of it goes. High levels of political spending, like high levels of readership for political stories, reflect broad interest in an election. Restricting one is not much different than restricting the other.
Voters may groan as they read about higher levels of political spending. But it sure beats the alternative: restricting the political speech and participation of Americans in the elections of their representatives.