CT Viewpoints: Finally, taxpayers might be off the hook for funding election campaigns (In the News)

CT Viewpoints: Finally, taxpayers might be off the hook for funding election campaigns

By Alex Cordell

So, after almost $75 million in taxpayer dollars, what have voters received from their “clean elections” program? Not much.

An analysis by the Center for Competitive Politics found no change in the voting behavior of legislators who used tax dollars for their re-election campaigns. The program didn’t change their tendency to side with organized interests when bills came to the floor. Another study released in 2010 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked at similar tax-financing programs in Arizona and Maine, which have existed since 2000. The GAO analyzed five goals set by each state after the creation of their tax-financing programs, but couldn’t find any evidence they had been achieved. The program also shamefully forces Connecticut residents to subsidize candidacies they may disagree with.

Advocates of the Citizens’ Election Program, and tax-financing schemes more broadly, ignore the reality that these programs have failed to solve the corruption problem in government… 

In fact, in the years since Connecticut adopted its tax-financing system, several instances of corruption from “clean election” candidates have surfaced. Many have been investigated or even convicted for the same crimes that spurred calls for tax-financing in the first place.