Sunday, December 27, 2009

Time running out to fix campaign funding law

This year, anyway.

As you probably know, the state's public financing law was overturned by a judge earlier this year, and the appeal won't be decided until February at the earliest. Meanwhile, we're going into an important election year where public financing will likely be a huge issue.

Ray Hackett at the Norwich Bulletin wrote an editorial pleading for my state senator, Gayle Slossberg (co-chairman of the Legislature’s Government Administration & Elections Committee) to follow through on her statement in which she said:
“I believe it would be disastrous to wait until the appeal is resolved, and my recommendation has been that we make changes to our law before the end of the calendar year.”
Hackett gives a concise view of the current ruling, which was issued because third-party candidates are given tougher standards to qualify. The solution, of course, is to change the law so it works evenly across the board. And while they're at it, they can also fix the loophole where an unopposed candidate can receive the same funding as one in a contested election. By allowing unopposed candidates to be exempt from the program even after qualifying, it saves the state money for the true purpose of the law.

Hackett addressed the lack of movement on the issue:
According to Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, no action was taken during two recent special sessions because there doesn’t appear to be a consensus regarding what action should be taken.
We know that ultimately our legislators would be working to fix a program that could conceivably cost them their jobs by allowing challengers to run against them who normally wouldn't have the ability. There is a distinct possibility that this self-interest is one of the reasons why the law hasn't been addressed yet.

This is exactly why the state legislature has such a low approval rating. In a situation like this, a leader has an opportunity to lead by taking the initiative and working to fix a law that is essential to the concept of a government by the people, for the people, and of the people.

How about you folks do something constructive right now?


West Haven Bob said...

Part of the problem, Bob, is that the next General Assembly Session doesn't begin until February 3rd...and it's unlikely that a special session will be called by Gov. Rell to address this issue.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's Rell's wait, it's , it's all Bush's Fault!!!
---eye roll---

CT Bob said...

I was hoping they'd get to it during a special session, but I guess it's not to be.

Yes anonymous, it's all Bush's fault. About time you realized that!

West Haven Bob said...

Governor Rell is the only person who can order a Special Session.

In a Special Session of the legislature, the General Assembly can only address those issues raised by the Governor.

Q.E.D., it can be argued that it is Rell's fault...but the Assembly has no little blame in not addressing the issue during the Regular Session.

JTHM said...

At least the New London Day and the Norwich Bulletin both decidedly and unabashedly left leaning papers both in unison lambasted the Democrat leadership for their....uhmmm....Lack There Of.
Me thinks change is in the air, the blame game regardless of facts will hurt the incumbent party, historically speacking of course.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Give it up; re-writing the mess so it's constitutional looks impossible.

Instead, remove all limits *BUT* insist on 48 hour internet postings of all donations including full name and address of each donor.