Although there are no municipal candidates or measures on the June 6 ballot, city officials are already plotting to reform the city’s electoral process in time for the November elections. To start, city council liaisons to the municipal election reform subcommittee invited the public to a briefing on several different options for reform. Tracy Westen, CEO of the Center for Governmental Studies, outlined various methods of public financing, capping contributions, and improving financial disclosure. Some of these antidotes to finance-driven politics have proven effective in other cities. One option, used in Santa Monica, is to give all candidates free and equal government access to TV and web exposure. In another scenario used in Maine, candidates must raise a specified number of signatures and $5 contributions to qualify for public funding, and then limit their spending to a certain amount.

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