While the number of seats that changed hands really isn’t much different than in previous years, there was high praise for Connecticut’s new system of public financing at a hearing held by SEEC on Wednesday. Another hearing will be held on December 5th.
Some political observers said Wednesday [political newcomer Karen Houghtaling] wouldn’t have been able to wage such a tough fight against Rep. John “Corky” Mazurek if not for Connecticut’s new, voluntary public financing system.
“Here’s a person who was interested in running in her democracy. She had the chance to run,” said Rep. Christopher L. Caruso, D-Bridgeport, co-chairman of the legislature’s elections committee. “Under the old system of ad books and money from lobbyists and special interests, she wouldn’t have had the money to do it.”
For the most part, both successful and unsuccessful candidates, and their campaign managers, had high praise for the system — considered the most far-reaching state public financing system in the country. (AP)
This is good to see. Certainly the number of uncontested seats went down this year, and I think that as knowledge of the program grows, the number of primaries and upsets will start ticking upwards as well.
2010 will be the real test of the system, especially as statewide offices are contested.
Certainly one of John DeStefano’s major problems in 2006 was his lack of money, especially in the general election campaign. He had spent so much of his money trying to defeat Dan Malloy that he had very little left to take on the well-funded Gov. Rell. Other incumbent constitutional officers were able to bury their opponents with cash, but that shouldn’t be the case in the upcoming cycle.
I’m looking forward to it. The system survived with relatively few glitches, and I heard a lot of positive things from candidates about it. Certainly participation was high–not many candidates actively decided to forgo the grants. If it can pass the test 2010 presents, I think we’ll have one of the best ways to finance our democracy around.
Haigh, Susan. “Feedback sought on Conn. campaign finance.” Associated Press 20 November, 2008.