Episode Information

Connecticut's Campaign Finance Law
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
06/04/2008
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In this episode:

How will this year's election be different with the new law?

 

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52:01 minutes (24.97 MB)
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Beth Rotman, Exec Director of Citizens Election Program: Photo by Cecelia SmithBeth Rotman, Exec Director of Citizens Election Program: Photo by Cecelia Smith
Two years ago Connecticut passed a strict campaign finance reform law and this November is the first election under the new public funded system.

The state expects nearly 80% of the candidates to use public money in November. The law was introduced as part of an ethics reform movement. It followed a series of state political scandals - including one that sent former Governor John Rowland to prison. It's the first state to pass this type of plan legislatively.

Today, Where We Live, a look inside the state's campaign financing system which has been called a "model" for other states, and how it compares to federal law.

Karen Hobart Flynn, Vice President of Common Cause: Photo by Cecelia SmithKaren Hobart Flynn, Vice President of Common Cause: Photo by Cecelia Smith But, two lawsuits are still pending against the law, one from state contractors who say it restricts their constitutional rights, another from minority parties who believe the threshold to receive public money is too high.

If you have questions or comments for us, send us an email at wherewelive@wnpr.org.

For a slideshow of pictures from Where We Live, visit WNPR Images on Flickr.com.

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email to wherewelive@wnpr.org

Public financing of campaigns is a great thing.

Do not, howver, let the advocates slide over the point of how it is being financed. In fact, taxpayer dollars are used. The money gathered in the unclaimed (escheat) system always goes to the general fund. To the extent that the public financing of elections uses unclaimed property funds to fund the election system, taxpayer or other dollars must be used to replace the money in general fund that would otherwise have come from unclaimed property.

Questions that advocates closely on how they are attempting to avoid a clear description of how taxpayers are actually paying for this system. And I think that we taxpayers ought to be paying for this public financing !! Just don't let the advocates "hide the ball" by suggesting that taxes or other state programs are not affected by the financing system chosen - the unclaimed property held by the State Treasurer.

David Biklen