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Do 'Trigger Funds' Make Elections More Fair?


Today, the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona public financing law similar to the one in Connecticut. But campaign finance reform can be a little dry and hard to follow, so first, a little colorful history:

Former governor John G. Rowland in his ultimate guilty plea, stipulated to his role in a criminal conspiracy to award huge public no-bid contracts to his cronies. But it wasn't just about what was illegal. It was about what was legal too. A public interest group totaled up all the campaign contributions by one construction group, Tomasso - and their sub-contractors to Rowland's 1998 and 2022 campaigns. They found over $400,000 in donations. TBI, the Tomasso construction company, was awarded three no-bid  contracts worth over $100 million.
That was Connecticut's incentive to craft a law that took private money out of politics. 
Connecticut enacted public financing in 2005. On today's show, we talk about federal and state efforts to deal with the tricky issue of using taxpayer money to finance public campaigns.
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

Colin McEnroe is a radio host, newspaper columnist, magazine writer, author, playwright, lecturer, moderator, college instructor and occasional singer. Colin can be reached at colin@ctpublic.org.

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