Bill Meyers for Congress!

1st Congressional District of California, November 2004 election

Green Party Primary, March 2004


Campaign Finance Reform

More Issues

Basic Position: Our elected officials should not be for sale.

Overview: Campaign finance reform (CFR) comes in many flavors. While I am in favor of any proposal that improves on the current system, this is an area that requires real reform, not tinkering. Proposals for CFR come in two main varieties: rules limiting donations, and campaigns paid for by the government. Before discussing those options, I will suggest a third method that I like better.

My proposal: A $200 annual tax credit for all citizens of voting age. The money could only be spent by donations to elections. This would create a legion of small donors to counteract big money donations. Since it would be a tax credit, rather than a deduction, even someone who owed no federal income tax would be able to get reimbursed for donations to political campaigns, up to $200 per year.

Government money for campaigns: In these systems the government gives money to each candidate who appears on the ballot. Clean Money is an example. Some specific proposals of this type, like those that give Democrat and Republican candidates more money that independents and 3rd party candidates, I have a problem with. Mostly I would vote in Congress for this type of CFR proposal, even though it takes some initiative away from individual citizens.

Rules and Regulations: This approach usually limits how much one person can give, or prohibits certain types of organizations from giving donations, or from buying ads promoting or criticizing candidates. This is fine with me, but is not as likely to create a real democracy as the two above methods.