Promoting Higher Ethical Standards in Politics and Clean Government Reforms (4/15/07)

Promoting Higher Ethical Standards in Politics and Clean Government Reforms


Important “Clean Government” issues currently being debated at the federal, state, county, and local level that Democrats should support include:

Banning Pay-To-Play

-- limitations on awarding public contracts to political campaign contributors or requiring contractors to make contributions in order to become eligible for public contracts.

Campaign Finance Reform

-- Public financing of campaigns.

-- Limitations on size and sources of candidate contributions.

    -- Limitations on “wheeling,” the covert moving of political contributions by one “power broker” to another candidate or issue campaign in order to evade campaign finance limitations.

    -- Limitations on “bundling,” the collection by lobbyists for special interests to assemble a number of substantial contributions from individuals in order to influence a candidate.

    -- Limitations on how close to an election advocacy groups (e.g., “527” groups) can spend money on advertising or other means in and attempt to affect the outcome of the election.

Election Integrity Reform

-- Accurate, tamper-proof machine balloting and tallying, including paper trail verification.

-- Required deployment of sufficient voting stations to ensure that voters in all election districts have an opportunity to vote without burdensome delays.

-- Improved voter registration and voter identification that does not impose discriminatory or burdensome requirements on citizens.

-- Statewide voter registration records (as required by new federal law).

Banning Conflicts of Interest

-- by office holders, staffs, and appointees.

Limiting Nepotism

-- appointment of spouses and other relatives to staffs and other positions. Exceptions should only be acceptable if relative is extraordinarily well qualified.

Banning Dual Office-Holding -- simultaneous election to more than one office at different levels of government, including the collection of multiple salaries and pensions.

Lobbyist Reform

-- registration and activity/finance reporting by government lobbyists.

-- required time gap between office holding or key staff positions and registration as lobbyist.

-- limitations on gifts and travel expense payments to officeholders, members of their staffs or government regulatory officials.

As revised, October 17, 2006