PNS Daily Newscast - January 16, 2019 

A judge rules on a controversial citizenship question for the 2020 Census; some fishing communities expect to feel the effects of the government shutdown; and new climate concerns as Antarctic ice is melting faster than we thought.

Daily Newscasts

Clean Elections not just a Pipedream in Iowa

November 12, 2007

Des Moines, IA - This is "Fair Elections Week," an effort to reduce the money that a person needs in order to run for public office. Across Iowa, petitions are being delivered to presidential campaigns in support of the "Fair Elections Now Act," which was introduced in Congress last March. Erich Riesenberg with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement says there's also state legislation pending, modeled on successful so-called "clean elections" systems in several other states. If it passes, a candidate would have to start by proving that he or she is serious about running for office.

"Prospective candidates who want to receive public funding would need to get a certain amount of support, both in terms of the number of people and small dollar contributions."

Riesenberg explains that once qualified, candidates would adhere to strict spending limits and forgo all private fundraising. Riesenberg is concerned that many citizens still don't know anything about the idea, and he blames the media's relative silence for at least part of that.

"A lot of the media, I think, is opposed to it because they get so much revenue from political campaigning."

Riesenberg believes the Fair Elections Now Act is necessary to make political campaigns about volunteers and voters, rather than about big contributors and special interests.

Dick Layman/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - IA