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Report: Conn. Candidate Public Finance System Should Be A Model For The Nation


Connecticut’s Public Campaign Finance Program started a decade ago. A new report from a non partisan nonprofit, called Common Cause, says it should be a model across the country.

Beth Rotman co-wrote the report. She found special interest donations to candidates dropped from over two million, to less than 50,000 dollars.

“The reality is that special interests are really happy to keep paying for elections because they know they get a really high return on their investment. But that’s what we have to stop. Because when we don’t have these programs, it costs all of us a lot more,” Rotman said.

Rotman says demographics of the state legislature include more women and people of color a decade after public campaign financing began.

The report also says keeping special interests at bay helped the state pass a bottle return law that had stalled for years. Rotman said the bottle program generates $24 million dollars in savings a year for Connecticut.

“When we reduce the big money barrier we see more and more different people with different life experiences and people of color come to office,” Rotman said.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.