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High Leverage Proposals for Electoral and Political Transformation


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by Tom Atlee

June 2003





Handle special interest distortion of campaigns with CLEAN MONEY LAWS. Money buys staff, mobility, expertise and, above all, media exposure for a campaign. In general (although not always), the more money a campaign has, the more likely it will win. Politicians become distracted and corrupted in their pursuit of campaign funds. Gross disparities in campaign financing undermine the ideal of electoral fairness and skew public debate. Under the Clean Money system, candidates who voluntarily agree to raise no private campaign funds and abide by spending limits can qualify for full public financing for their campaigns. Clean Money laws have been passed in Maine, Vermont, Arizona and Massachusetts -- Vermont by legislation, the rest by ballot initiative -- and efforts are underway in more than a dozen other states

Robert Andrews' (D-NJ) H.R. 1878 "Public Campaign Financing Act of 2003" <> is the only major clean money legislation in the U.S. Congress at this time, and it deals only with Congressional campaigns. On 4/30/2003 it was referred to the House Committee on House Administration, just like the bill described above. It has no co-sponsors -- yet.... Perhaps someone reading this could do something about that...

In public opinion surveys, virtually all political sectors of the public from conservative Republicans to liberal Democrats and independents support public financing of elections by sizable majorities. <>

For more information on Clean Money campaigns, see especially .