Ballot Measures Need Finance Reform Too

| February 24, 2003

Since the passage last year of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, many skeptical of corrupt corporate donations and weary of dollar-sign debates saw a glimmer of hope for American politics?and perhaps even reason to return to the polls. There is, however, an important reform that Congress overlooked., a project of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC), has been established to highlight that missing piece and draw attention to an integral part of the ballot-building process. ?Every election cycle, voters decide hundred of ballot measures [initiatives and referenda] with little or no knowledge of the groups or individuals backing them.? In 24 states, voters have the right to adopt laws and even change the state constitutions by placing legislation directly on the ballot. Unfortunately, this lawmaking process has also been corrupted by unregulated corporate money, which, often anonymously, funds massive media campaigns that distort the issues. is designed to inform the public, tracking individuals, corporations, and special interest groups who contribute?without limit?to ballot measures.
-Jessi Misslin

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