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Old 06-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #45
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Denver
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Originally Posted by BroncoBeavis View Post
Educate me. There's generally a lot of window dressing, but the core point remains.

And don't forget, you can no longer rest on the old 'percent support in prior elections' or any kind of petition to qualify. It takes significant money just to get either one done. Meaning it would be next to impossible for an outsider to break in.

Unless it was with media backing, but that brings in a whole other set of favoritism and corporate/big money influence problems.
The opposite should be true.

To get you started, a decent summary of some of the benefits.

Some highlights from The Brennan Center for Justice.
More than Combating Corruption: The Other Benefits of Public Financing

Public Financing Promotes More Contested and Competitive Elections

Few doubt that extraordinary Americans of ordinary means must have a meaningful ability to compete for elected office. Robust public funding programs open the door for qualified Americans who might not have personal wealth or high-powered connections by giving them the means to launch competitive campaigns. Several empirical studies confirm this conclusion.

A 2010 study by a University of Illinois professor found that, in each election since their public funding programs were implemented, both Maine and Arizona have enjoyed a general decline in races with unopposed incumbents. In other words, with public financing, elected officials in those states are increasingly more likely to face a challenger when they run for re-election. [7]

A 2008 study conducted by a Stanford Graduate School of Business professor similarly found that elections in Maine and Arizona between incumbents and publicly financed challengers are much more competitive than was true before public financing was adopted.[8] This finding confirms that public financing can provide newcomers with the ability to mount effective campaigns against incumbents.
Further underlining that public funding increases the likelihood an incumbent will have a competitive race, a team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found in a 2006 study looking at public financing in several states that public financing increases the pool of candidates willing and able to run for state legislative office. [9]

A 2008 study by the director of the Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies and a Fordham University professor found that radio advertisements which mentioned both major party candidates and encouraged listeners to vote resulted in incumbents’ vote shares falling six to eight percentage points.[10] By allowing challengers to get their names out in front of voters, public financing causes elections to become more competitive than they otherwise would be.

A 2010 study conducted by graduate students at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service compared electoral data in Maine and Arizona with states that have no public financing. The study found that public financing meaningfully increased the likelihood that incumbents would face real competition.[11] Overall, Maine’s and Arizona’s legislative races were more contested and more competitive than those in comparable states.[12]

A study by a postdoctoral associate at Yale University concluded that public financing encourages experienced challengers within the incumbent party to run for open seats more often than they would without public financing.[13] Hence, public financing not only encourages more individuals to run, it also attracts high quality candidates.[14]

Consistent with these research findings, public financing is perceived as enhancing competition—both by candidates and the public. A Government Accountability Office study found that healthy percentages of candidates in states with public funding see it as a vehicle for spurring competition.[15] And a 2009 poll in North Carolina found that 85% of people surveyed agreed that “the high cost of campaigns means candidates must be good fundraisers to win—and the need to raise a lot of money keeps a lot of good people from serving in public office.”[16] As a recent New York Times story on Connecticut’s financing system put it, “For challengers, the appeal is obvious. Suddenly, they can have resources equal to an incumbent’s without hitting up major donors.”[17]

Worth reading.....
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