Here’s a stunning development for Seattle via the Strangfellows blog on SeattlePI.
No money may soon be no problem – or not as much of a problem – for candidates for Seattle elections.
City Councilmembers on Monday announced a timeline to come up with a plan to publicly finance city elections. A possible ballot measure could go before voters in 2010. If voters approve, candidates could participate as early as the 2011 elections.
Public financing lets a candidate qualify for public funds to run a campaign if he or she is able to demonstrate a broad base of community support. Participation would be optional. Candidates would agree to standards such as limits on private fundraising, a limit on using personal funds, or limits on third-party funding assistance. Similar programs now operate in cities like Portland, Ore. and San Francisco.
I think most people agree that the political system in the United States is broken. We have politicians prioritizing the minority interests of their donors rather than the majority interests of the people they represent. No one party shares in this alone. It’s nice to see citizens try to change this dynamic if not at a national level at least at a local one.