Are Elections for Sale? (New Democracy Forum) by David Donnelly, Janice Fine, Ellen S. Miller

By David Donnelly, Janice Fine, Ellen S. Miller

Joshua Cohen, Joel Rogers (eds.); Gore Vidal (foreword)

Now allow us to use our heads and deal adequately, as they are saying in Washington, with a company ruling category that has hijacked the state, and in so doing cast off at the very least one evident contradiction: that ours is a central authority of, by way of, and for the numerous whilst it's so notoriously the unique guard of the few. --Gore Vidal, from the Foreword

In contemporary years, many citizens have questioned whose voices are literally heard by means of our elected representatives. because the price of working aggressive political campaigns escalates and politicians allure more and more to filthy rich pursuits to finance election bids, electorate in lots of states have handed, or are primed to vote on, crusade finance initiatives.

In Are Elections for Sale?, David Donnelly, Janice advantageous, and Ellen S. Miller argue that in simple terms complete public investment of campaigns can verify democratic elections, and so they evaluate the successes a few states have had with the fresh Elections Act.

The New Democracy discussion board is a sequence of brief paperback originals exploring artistic strategies to our so much pressing nationwide concerns.


American politics has turn into an hands race, with cash doing the paintings of missiles. One part escalates and the opposite follows go well with. because the spiral grows it's undermining the soul of democracy. yet here's the excellent news: nearly all of americans desire a new process of crusade finance. at any time when electorate have had an opportunity to settle on a special method, they've got spoken loud and transparent. This ebook is the blueprint to come back democracy to politics. --Bill Moyers

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Extra info for Are Elections for Sale? (New Democracy Forum)

Example text

But, as political junkies like to say, the only poll that matters is taken on election day. And here we come to the third factor: elections are won by organizations. And the Maine campaign provides instructive lessons for other efforts elsewhere. The campaign waged by Maine Voters for Clean Elections was a result of years of research, coalition building, and grassroots organizing. With ongoing technical assistance from the Northeast Citizen Action Resource Center (a regional network of progressive organizations and elected leaders), a group of Maine reformers identified the problem, established a role for their analysis in the public dialogue, and became the arbiters of what was—and was not—serious reform.

In that analysis, twenty of thirtyfive senators elected in  raised at least  percent of their funds that came from that fund-raising sector (individual contributions of at least ) from within their own states. But that sector, according to CRP, accounted for only  percent of all campaign funds raised by Senate incumbents during . Our bill reaches more broadly; it requires that at least  percent of a candidate’s entire fund-raising come from individuals within the candidate’s home state.

Business interests already contribute seven times as much as labor organizations do, and ten times as much as ideological groups. For example, in , energy interests gave  million in congressional races, whereas environmental groups gave just  million. As the principles of accountability, fairness, and deliberation imply, the issue isn’t simply how much money is being spent and how much time it takes to raise it, but where it comes from, who provides it and who doesn’t, and what obligations, commitments, and conflicts of interest result.

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