LETTER: Keep the Campaign Subsidy Program in place

To The Editor:
I agree with George Beck of Minnesotans for Clean Elections, “The size of your checking account should not determine the weight of your vote.”
Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer and Rep. Sarah Anderson are cynically suggesting that their bills SF511 and HF445 repealing the Campaign Subsidy Program, which has been in place in Minnesota for 40 years will be better for candidates running for office.
The subsidy to provide public funding is funded by tax payers checking off a box on their Minnesota tax form for $5 to go to the fund.
Without the subsidy program new candidates without personal wealth or connections to donors with deep pockets will not run for office or will not be able to succeed. Kiffmeyer, in office since 2008 and Anderson since 2006, are both incumbents with strong name recognition.
What are the benefits of the public subsidy? It broadens the pool of potential candidates. It fosters diversity in the electoral process. It also promotes competitive contested elections. This benefits the constituents. Representatives need to listen and follow the wishes of their constituents. There is less likelihood of gridlock and more chance of getting bipartisan support.
If you want a legislature comprised from all walks of life, who answer your emails and phone messages, and hold “real” town halls to listen to your concerns, call Rep. Sarah Anderson and Sen. Paul Anderson to demand that they keep the Campaign Subsidy Program in place!

Jeanne Thompson