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Citizen Funded Elections Essay

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Citizen Funded Elections are a practical, proven reform that puts voters in control of democracy, instead of big political donors. Rather than being forced to rely on special interest donors to pay for their campaigns, candidates have the opportunity to raise small donations from their grassroots base to qualify for public funding, which ends their reliance on special interest campaign cash, replacing special interest campaign cash influence in government with the taxpayer's cash.
Being freed from the money chase means candidates and officials have more time to spend with constituents, talking about the issues that matter to them. When they enter an office, they can consider legislation on the merits, without worrying about whether they
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In 2006, nearly 94 percent of the candidates for U.S. Congress who spent the most money also won their races.
By ensuring that all qualified candidates are able to raise enough money to communicate their views and positions adequately to the public, Citizen Funded Elections level the playing field, ensuring that winning is more about ideas and voters than fundraising networks and big donors.
Full public financing significantly reduces the amount of time that candidates need to spend raising money, so they can spend more time on addressing national priorities and hopefully maintaining a healthy, sane lifestyle, too. Members of the House and Senate spend an inordinate amount of time raising money, with the average Senator needing to raise more than $25,000 every week for their entire six-year term in order to be competitive for their next race. Former Senator Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings (D-S.C.) estimated that almost one-third of a senator’s time is spent on fundraising. Hollings contrasted today’s Senate with the institution of the 1960s, which typically worked full weeks: “Now you can’t find the Senate until Monday evening, and it’s gone again by Thursday night. We’re off raising money.”
Full public financing ensures that average citizens have a fair opportunity to participate in every step of the democratic process. In most congressional races, the first competition is the “money primary” – how much early cash can a candidate raise in order to prove to the
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