SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Clean Election Law
By Megan Kearl


March 06, 2008
Thursday PM

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.

Megan Kearl
Tempe, Arizona
Ronald Reagan Fellow at the Goldwater Institute

Received March 05, 2008 - Published March 06, 2008


Related Viewpoint:

letter Clean Elections By Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux


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