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Clean Elections cartoon

Vote No on “Clean Elections” Ballot Measure 3

On Aug. 26, 08, we Alaskans should vote No on Ballot Measure 3 "Clean Elections". I call it "Socialized Elections". I believe that publicly financed elections will lead in the direction of left wing policies and left wing candidates. It is being pushed by AkPIRG (Alaska Public Interest Research Group). I consider this to be a left leaning pressure group.

   Left wingers no doubt feel that the timing is right and that Alaska is ripe and ready to be plucked and tossed into the socialist hopper. This is because of the recent bribery convictions of certain Alaska state legislators. This did not involve campaign contributions, but rather under the table money to a few unethical legislators that needed money. Regular campaign donations are governed by Alaska's APOC agency which is already a "clean election" full disclosure process.

   I would think whether a politician gets campaign money from legitimate private contributions or from taxpayer money, they could still be tempted by under the table bribery, if they have an unethical nature.

   The best way to root out any bribery is with law enforcement investigation. The FBI is doing a good job. Socializing Alaska's election process is not an answer.

 

Public money is our money, and publicly financed candidates means that we will be forced to pay for candidates and causes that we don't even agree with. In the present and proper way of doing things, the candidate must present themselves to the citizens with sensible ideas. The candidate should listen to and engage with the citizen. Then, the citizen just might contribute their work and sweat in the form of money to the candidate. This is an important and necessary hurdle in the process of getting reasonable and knowledgeable candidates before the public.

   With publicly funded campaigns, we may have to watch a slew of hair brained TV political ads that we were forced to pay for. The "Clean election" scheme, it seems to me, diminishes the relationship and interaction between the candidate and the citizens, and reduces accountability. The candidate becomes more beholden to the all powerful government since it is the government that is providing their bread and butter.

   The literature put out in favor of "Clean Elections" points out that 7 other states have adopted the Clean Election laws. They state that the Clean Election law in Maine allowed for the passage of universal health care legislation. That's what I'm afraid of - more left wing government take over of our economy.

   Left wingers will come out of the wood work and scoop up our public money and use our money to finance TV propaganda ads promoting their Marxist ideas and other ill conceived proposals. It will be hideous.

   There is one type of public support for candidates that I strongly favor: And that is frequent moderated interactive debates for all the candidates on the Alaska One Public TV channel. That way, both sides of the issues can be discussed and examined. This is far superior to publically financed one sided, hypnotic, misleading propaganda TV ads on commercial TV.

   Sincerely, Randy S. Griffin

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More info about Ballot Measure # 3

Here is a smattering of additional information about the “Clean Elections” publicly funded elections proposal.

The program is voluntary. A candidate can exclusively accept private freely given contributions. But if a candidate wants to get public money for their campaign, then they must agree not to take private contributions except for a certain amount of “seed money”.

To qualify for public money the candidate must collect $5 contributions from a certain  number of registered voters as listed below:

The pro “Clean Elections” web site (www.alaskansforcleanelections.org) says that the $5 fee can be waived for low income individuals.

   After meeting the requirements, the candidates can receive public money for the primary election according to the following list:

For the general elections the amount of money is listed as:

In addition to the amounts listed above, the pro website says that Clean Elections candidates can receive up to 3 times the specified limit to match a non-participating opponent’s spending dollar for dollar.

 

7 other states have “clean elections” legislation. Arizona was one of the first (passed in 1998). The governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano (Democrat) was first elected governor in 2002 using “clean elections” public money. She beat her Republican opponent Matt Salmon by only one percentage point.

   Matt Salmon declined to take public campaign money. Matt Salmon said: “The reason that I decided not to take… to participate in this government giveaway of tax dollars for campaigning, was really because I believe that it’s unconstitutional for a taxpayer to fund political speech they disagree with.” (Source of quote: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec02/arizona_10-30.html )

    Of course “Clean Election” public money is available to conservative as well as liberal candidates. However, I think that it will tend to lead the states toward the liberal / left direction.

   Another thing about Ballot Measure 3 is that it just applies to Alaska state government offices. It does not pertain to national offices such as U.S. congressman.

   We should vote No on “Clean Elections” Ballot Measure 3 on Aug. 26, 08.

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Written and Paid for by Randy Griffin, PO Box 73653, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99707