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Clean money, clean elections

(Credit: Politirazzi)

(AP)

By Lynne

There are so many ways candidates get take cheap shots at each other — in debates, interviews, e-mails sent to campaign supporters, through push polls, phone banking, direct mail and, yes, with the supposedly uncoordinated assistance by 527 political action committees whose "independent" expenditures are often very nasty indeed. Or they can get their supporters (heck, even their wives) to give interviews, blog, speak from a pulpit ...

But one way to run a clean campaign is by accepting clean money — which generally refers to public financing. For presidential campaigns, that money comes from the tick box that people can choose to select on their tax forms. Public financing releases candidates from dialing-for-dollars or constant email appeals and allows them to time to focus on pesky things like developing policies that will protect people and planet. Or, here’s a thought — doing the job they are currently being paid to do and were voted in to do.

(continued) Frankly, I haven't been expecting much from Obama — the ability to give a good speech and raise money are not exactly at the top of my list of presidential criteria — but even I was disappointed at his decision to reject public funds.

Especially since he pretty much promised — in writing — to agree to forgo private funding and participate in the presidential public financing system when replying to a Midwest Democracy Network questionnaire in 2007.

But then, again, his mantra is "change" so I guess being the first major-party candidate to turn down public funds for the general election since the program began in 1976 is a change.

Oh, wait. Another politician breaking his promises? Nope, no change.

Tags: barack obama , public financing , campaigning

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