Gov. M. Jodi Rell has made a dramatic offer to revive stalled campaign finance legislation, proposing full public financing of campaigns for offices ranging from the General Assembly to governor beginning in 2010.
With only days remaining in the legislative session, Rell's staff promised legislators that the governor would drop her opposition to public financing if lawmakers accept her call for strict limits on contributions from state contractors, lobbyists and political action committees. (Pazniokas)
Can anyone tell me why this is bad? Limiting contributions from contractors, lobbyists and PACs sounds, well, ideal. Democrats and other supports of public funding, however, are a bit suspicious at the turnaround:
"What is the governor's [motive] in this? That's really the question," said House Speaker James A. Amann, D-Milford. "Is it political, or is it pure?" (Pazniokas)
"I hope to be proven wrong, but I am wary of last-minute deals supported by historic opponents of real campaign finance reform," [executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group Tom] Swan said.
It does seem a little... odd. But so far, a catch is not forthcoming. There are two possibilities here. You decide which makes the most sense:
1. Governor Rell has decided that the only way to get her limitations on contractor, lobbyist and PAC contributions through a very resistant legislature full of politicians addicted to those sources of revenue would be to offer public funding, which she previously opposed, as a compromise. This isn't entirely out of character for her: when backed into a corner, she does tend to want to compromise her way out.
2. This is part of some evil GOP conspiracy to take over the state and quite possibly kill puppies.
My instinct is to look this compromise over carefully, first, and then, if all seems to be above-board, take it! A better offer is probably not forthcoming.
Pazniokas, Mark. "Rell Offers Reform Package." Hartford Courant 2 June, 2005.