Q: Why should my tax dollars be used to help candidates I don’t support?
A: When candidates accept public funds, they make themselves accountable to all taxpayers, not just those who’ve contributed to their campaigns. And because they don’t have to spend time and energy cozying up to major donors, candidates have more time and more incentive to get in touch with the concerns of everyday voters.
Q: We have a public financing system for presidential campaigns and it doesn’t work. Why would this be different?
A: The Presidential public financing system did not use the fair elections, matching fund model. And the system actually worked quite well until 2008, when the rising cost of campaigning and the availability of large donations from special interests persuaded candidates to go back to private fundraising. Common Cause believes Congress should overhaul the presidential public financing system so that a mix of public funds and small gifts from individual donors provides candidates with enough money to run winning campaigns.