Public Financing Campaigns

By Sharon Anderson, Letter To Editor

Re "Real reform costs too much politically," commentary, May 14: James Pinkerton makes the point that there's a lot of misuse of money in politics, including crimes such as bribery and legal practices such as the "earmarking" of funds for pet projects. He says that attempting to cure corrupting influences of money in government by public financing of elections would not help. I disagree. We may never be able to cure the world of all ills. But one place where money starts to corrupt our elected officials is when they receive private money for elections and are then put in the position of having to listen to their donors if they want more money for re-election. If they never had to put out a hand to donors, there would be no favors that they would have to do. And don't forget, the taxpayers are paying for those favors (bridges to nowhere); we just never see the total bill.

I would much rather see the relatively small bill for public funding of elections that would remove the corrupting influence of campaign contributions and additionally give a boost to fixing other problems (earmarking, bribery). See

- Sharon Anderson, Sacramento

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