Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Clean money: Reform would leave candidates beholden to no one

In May, I posted on an idea that one candidate was implementing to not take campaign contributions from special interest groups.

It didn't work--possibly because he didn't have enough cash in his coffers.

Now, I see this article in the SLTrib proposing State money be given to campaigns that promise to not take private money.

Would it work?


Allie said...

I'd sure like to see that happen.

Imagine having a candidate who would actually represent the people who elected him (or her) instead of the special interest group who gave them a bunch of money....

Jeremy said...

I'd sure like to see this NOT happen.

I have a problem with the government forcefully taking money from me in the form of taxes in order to finance the campaign of someone I probably completely disagree with.

This is a horrible idea. I wonder what Bastiat would think of your favorable mention of this type of extortion. Shame shame.

Candidates should be free to take money from whomever they wish for the purpose of financing their campaigns. If they are smart they'll disclose who they are taking money from and make sure they aren't taking money from entities their constituents won't approve of.

Tyler Farrer said...


I didn't intend on a "favorable mention". My language was neutral, actually.

I posed a question, "would it work?", to solicit comments.

I'm not sure this idea is ever going to take hold in Utah, with our Legislature, anyway.

Allie said...

I have a problem with the government forcefully taking money from me in the form of taxes in order to finance the campaign of someone I probably completely disagree with.

So you would be okay with the government taxing you to finance the campaign of a candidate that you agreed with?

Just wondering.

There needs to be some sort of a change with campaign finance. Even Tyler didn't believe that Chris barden had taken money from Parents For Choice, and since Barden didn't have to disclose until recently, how was anyone to really know prior to voting for him? (luckily he didn't win, but you see the idea here?!)

I don't see how anyone could feel good about having candidates "bought" by special interest groups.

Tyler Farrer said...

This is an interesting debate that's evolving here. I posted this to see who would feel strongly, one way or the other.

Two things.

First, this 'reform' would not eliminate 'special interest' influence on candidates. It might create a perception of purity, however.

Second, Jeremy is right that it is outside of the purview of the government to fund a campaign. It isn't untried, however. People can choose, on their taxes to choose a contribution to one of the two main political parties, after all.

I think I would oppose this even if 'my candidate' got the money. This proposal is a rather convoluted way of cleaning things up.

Allie said...

I wouldn't particularly care for my tax dollars to be used to fund campaigns, but I would like to avoid feeling like people who are supposed to represent me (or at least the majority around me) aren't having their votes paid for by special interest groups.

Maybe using tax money is a way to avoid that problem... I don't know.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if all candidates had to raise all their money from the people who elect them. There'd be a lot less money wasted on smear campaigns, I bet. There'd also have to be a lot more door knocking and fewer glossy mailers.

Allie said...

I really need to start editing before posting. That last one has a double negative. Hopefully you can figure out what I meant...

Tyler Farrer said...


Your grammar is not the worst.

You know, I can see your viewpoint.

I also, don't want to go down the road of funding campaigns with tax dollars.