Our country's greatest failing, the true disaster, of our time: the scourge of growing inequality, economic and political. It is despicable as the very wealthy convert their financial might into political power to guard that wealth while exacerbating inequality further. This is the vast difference between a society whose arrangements serve all its citizens or one whose institutions have been converted into a stupendous fraud - democracy in name only.
Chicago’s democracy is being distorted by an overwhelmingly, white, wealthy and male donor class. But public financing provides a clear solution. The “Fair Election Ordinance,” introduced on January 13, 2016 would match all small donor contributions up to $175, increasing the influence of the most diverse small and mid-level donor pool.
Campaign finance reform, long a lonely political backwater frequented only by good government groups, is suddenly becoming a hot new address for some of this year’s candidates. Whether that will lead to a vibrant new political community remains the open question.
Maine's Clean Elections program and Seattle's Honest Elections Seattle swept to notable victories on Tuesday, providing ways that candidates can run for office without relying on big money from special interests. These efforts are a reminder that many of the most important initiatives to fix our broken campaign finance system are happening on the state and local level.
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