Great letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register
There was a great letter to the
editor in the May 31, 2006 Des Moines Register. CCI member Alice Bryan
did a great job rebutting Des Moines Register policitcal columnist David
Yepsen's assertion that true campaign reform cannot happen.
be cheap and clean
Apparently David Yepsen doesn’t have a lot of time to do research
before writing his columns. He has some concerns about [Ed Fallon’s
plan for] campaign-finance reform.
Even a little research by Yepsen would have
revealed states that are already successfully using clean elections
(with voluntary public financing). Maine and Arizona have used the system
for three full election cycles and the results have been overwhelmingly
positive. More people have the chance to run for office because they
care about their communities, not because they can raise a lot of money.
More people are voting, and it’s an easy system to understand.
Candidates gather a set number of signatures
and $5 contributions from within their district in order to prove their
viability. Who separates serious candidates from “kooks”?
The voters do, not columnists or big-money contributors. That is, after
all, what our electoral process is all about.
North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont,
Connecticut and the cities of Albuquerque, N.M., and Portland, Ore.,
have also established similar systems. And the cost? Well, in Iowa we
could have a similar system for around $5 per registered voter.
My $5 each year would mean the people running
in my district to represent me would never have to take money from special
interests again. It seems pretty reasonable.
And who knows how much money our state
would discover when we no longer felt obligated to hand out enormous
tax breaks or refused to close obvious loopholes. We could find we have
a lot more to spend on schools, health care, corrections and the environment.
That’s why Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and other groups
have been pushing for voter-owned elections in Iowa. It is a vital step
in Iowans reclaiming our democracy.
— Alice Bryan, Des Moines.
Do you have 8-10 friends who want to
learn more about Voter-Owned Elections and would consider supporting
Phase II of our “Money and Elections in Iowa” with a financial
gift? Hold a house party!
For more information contact
Adam at 515/282-0484 or firstname.lastname@example.org