Opinion: Scott wrong on election funding

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott has been quoted as saying that he does not wish to use public financing for his campaign because he does not want to take money from people who do not support him. This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of public financing of political activities.
Public campaign financing is not about supporting one candidate over another. It is about supporting the process. It is about allowing candidates to spend their time communicating their policy positions to the public instead of spending their energy and focus on donors. It is about leveling the playing field so that the perspectives of all parties (the major ones, at least) can get equal exposure. It is about removing the corrosive effect of private money from the political process. It is about replacing special interest influence with citizen control of the political process. It is about public support for the most fundamental element of democracy — direct communication between constituents and potential officeholders.
Lt. Gov. Scott is missing an opportunity to give Vermont’s forward-looking public campaign financing law a real-world test, while showing the rest of the country the benefits of taking private money out of the electoral process.
Spencer Putnam

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