Clean Election Law
By Megan Kearl
March 06, 2008
To the editor:
In a letter published March 3, Representative Gabrielle LeDoux
voiced her support for a "Clean Election Law" for Alaska,
stating that it could give candidates more time to discuss policy,
free candidates from the constraints of money-driven elections,
prevent candidates from becoming "indentured to special
interest groups" who give contributions, and help "worthy"
candidates enter the election process who wouldn't otherwise
have the funding. While these are admirable goals, Alaskans will
likely be disappointed with the actual results of Clean Elections.
Arizona instated Clean Elections in 1998 and hasn't seen many
of the results Rep. LeDoux discusses. Voter turnout rates have
not increased nor has third-party participation in politics.
In fact, the number of Clean Elections candidates running for
office in the primary decreased by about 27 percent from 2002
to 2004 and, since the passage of Clean Elections, incumbency
reelection rates have remained stable at almost 100 percent.
And for those looking for a "cleaner" election where
candidates focus more on the issues: don't count on it. The Arizona
Clean Elections Institute made a voter guide available for candidates
to better express their positions in a recent election. But,
since these candidates don't have to worry about losing support
from donors, they used the space to attack their opponents.
I strongly urge any citizens who are interested in this issue
to read "Campaign Promises: A
Six-year Review of Arizona's Experiment with Taxpayer-financed
Campaigns ," a 2006 report by the Goldwater Institute,
which will dispel many other myths about Clean Elections.
Ronald Reagan Fellow at the Goldwater Institute
Received March 05, 2008 - Published
March 06, 2008
Elections By Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux
Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:
Your Opinion Letter to the Editor
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
E-mail your letters
& opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your full name, city and state are required for publication.
Stories In The News