When state lawmakers passed a sweeping overhaul of Connecticut's campaign finance laws this month, they included a provision allowing up to three municipalities to try systems for using public funds for elections. The provision would take effect after next year's elections.
Aldermen voted 21-0 to ask the state to include New Haven's mayoral race in the pilot program. (AP)
These three 2007 municipal elections will be the first tests of the new public financing system. New Haven ought to give us a very good idea of just how hard it is for third party candidates to get public financing. Expect a publicly financed Green, at the very least. I have to imagine that many, many Democrats will enter the primary. Could be a free-for-all. A DeStefano victory the November before would make things even crazier, but that's just a hypothetical right now.
The lock that Democrats have on the city will doubtless stay in place, but perhaps public financing can bring a measure of competition to New Haven races.
"New Haven wants to try publicly funded campaigns." Associated Press 5 December, 2005.