OPINION: Citizen’s Election Program should not be cut

At last Tuesday’s Republican Town Hall meeting in Weston, state Rep. Adam Dunsby voiced his endorsement for eliminating public funding of the state’s Citizen’s Election Program.

I cannot express how strongly I feel that it is essential that we keep the CEP funding intact. As a candidate in the last election I know firsthand how important it is to have this funding. As a small business owner and an active working woman in the community, I would never have been able to finance my own campaign without this support.

Let me explain how and why this funding works. The Connecticut Citizens Election Program was created to ensure that all candidate have an equal playing field while running a campaign. This voluntary public financing program is designed to improve the electoral process in the following ways:

  • Allowing candidates to compete without reliance on special interest money;
  • Allowing statewide officers and legislators the ability to make decisions free of the influence of, or the appearance that they have been influenced by, donations from special interests;
  • Restoring public confidence in the electoral and legislative processes;
  • Increasing meaningful citizen participation; and
  • Providing the public with useful and timely disclosure of campaign finances.

When an individual’s wealth is the driving force to winning an election, it takes the essential elements of a democracy out of play. While Mr. Dunsby may have the resources to fund his own campaign, his position is blatantly self-serving.

Eliminating this program would certainly narrow down the field of viable candidates to only the wealthy or those beholden to special interests. How can we expect good honest people to step up to the plate and offer themselves for civic duty?

I strongly urge each and every one of you to write and call your local reps and make sure that they understand that we the people do not support removing of the program. We do not need less transparency when it comes to financing political candidates especially on a local level.

He with the most money wins? Have we not see enough of that?

Democrat Bonnie Troy of Weston waged an unsuccessful race in 2016 against Republican state Rep. Adam Dunsby for the 135th District, representing Easton, Redding and Weston.

 

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