The public option
A political candidate who can campaign without depending on special interests is better for our democracy
June 26, 2010
Advocates for publicly financed elections say the approach helps remove the corrupting influence of money from political campaigns.
Money for the program comes from the $4.5 million Hawaii Election Campaign Fund, which is financed by taxpayers who check a box on their income tax forms to donate $3.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision opening a floodgate of corporate and union spending to influence U.S. elections immediately inspired a backlash in the form of rising support for public campaign financing.
The day after the high court's 5-4 ruling recast the political landscape ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, dozens of current and former corporate executives sent a letter to members of Congress through the good-government coalition Fair Elections Now urging them to approve public financing for House and Senate campaigns.
September 16, 2009
Fair Elections Now Act deserves support
Next year, the Big Island County Council elections will conduct a first for Hawai'i: a publicly funded election. It's a concept that has grown increasingly popular in recent years, and with good reason. It gives candidates who aren't beholden to well-monied special interests a fighting chance to compete for public office.
2010 will be here before you know it
West Hawaii Today
Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:55 AM HST
Hawaii County voters may think it is a little early to start talking about the 2010 election, but for County Council candidates considering a public funding option, now is the time, a community organizer says.
Candidates would be granted money based on a formula that considers the average amount spent by winning candidates in the last two County Council elections, minus 10 percent. Candidates wouldn't be allowed to accept any outside money.
The public funding program is capped at $300,000 for all races combined. There is about $5.5 million in the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund.
February 26, 2008
"A group advocating full public funding of elections has launched an e-mail and media campaign asking lawmakers to pass a bill allowing Hawaii County Council races to serve as a pilot project.