A letter to the editor: The time is right for campaign finance reform

 
Updated 2/8/2022 1:24 PM

In response to Richard Barsanti's letter, "Reform needed for fair campaign financing," he is absolutely right. We must find a better way to finance our campaigns.

Here in Illinois, we are set to watch another battle between billionaires. This time it's a heavyweight bout between the bank accounts of Gov. J.B. Pritzker and major GOP donor Ken Griffin. It is no secret that money, not voters, fuels American politics.

 

As a board member of Common Cause Illinois, I am excited that we have an opportunity to give power back to the people through innovative and effective campaign finance reform. Common Cause Illinois is part of a coalition that is working right now to pass a small-donor match program in Evanston.

A small donor match amplifies the voice of ordinary voters by matching their initial contribution by a predetermined ratio. This program is used with great success in cities from New York to Portland, Oregon. Ordinary people, rather than millionaires and billionaires, can run for and win public office. It brings more diverse representation into government and encourages officials to spend more time listening to their constituents, instead of focusing on big money donors.

Finally, policies are more responsive to public needs, rather than wealthy special interests.

Small-donor match ultimately makes politicians more accountable and elections more representative. The time is right to pass campaign finance reform in Illinois, and we can start in Evanston. Common Cause Illinois is excited to take up this fight.

Cynthia Canary

Chicago

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