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Berkley Bedell Headlines Clean Election Rally at State Capitol

January 29, 2007

In an effort to convince Iowa lawmakers to create election reforms where people matter more and money matters less, former U.S. Congressman Berkley Bedell joins others at a rally today at the Iowa State Capitol. The purpose of the gathering is to raise public awareness of Clean Elections Campaign Reform, a group that provides public financing for qualifying political candidates.

Bedell says the system is already in place in other states, including Arizona, Connecticut, and Maine, and is designed to make it easier for everyday citizens to run for office who don't have large sums of money. Instead, they can substitute public funding for at least part of their campaign costs. Bedell will also be meeting with legislators to encourage their support of the idea.

"The government funds the campaigns of the politicians who are willing to run as clean candidates. This takes the power of money out of the political process."

Bedell says he supports "Clean Elections" reform, both in Iowa and at the federal level, because he has seen such dramatic increases in the importance of money in politics -- a trend that has led to an escalating fundraising frenzy on the part of candidates.

"The corporations and the wealthy give the money to the candidates, and then candidates have to do what the wealthy want them to do, in order to get the money for their next campaign."

Today's rally gets underway at noon in the rotunda of the State Capitol. The event is sponsored by several organizations, including the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the League of Women Voters.

More information can be found online, at www.iowacci.org.

Dick Layman/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - IA