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


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