Monday, February 25, 2008

Vote! Clean Elections Amendment on March 4th Santa Fe Ballot

Money_2On March 4th, 2008, Santa Fe has a chance to join Albuquerque and many other communities around the nation in voting for clean elections. Albuquerque voters approved the adoption of a voluntary public financing option for all municipal elections in 2005, by a margin of 69-39%. In next week's municipal election in Santa Fe, voters will consider Charter Amendment 4, which proposes a process for establishing public financing in city elections prior to May 2010. Common Cause New Mexico provides an excellent on the issue why you should support Amendment 4.

A Santa Fe New Mexican article describes Albuquerque's public financing option and lays out how the Santa Fe amendment would approach the issue:

If Santa Fe voters favor Amendment 4, they will order the City Council to develop a system to establish "meaningful public financing of campaigns" before May 2010, although the amendment doesn't specify the system must be up and running by that time.

... Campaign spending has been on the rise in recent Santa Fe city elections. In 2002, winning incumbent Mayor Larry Delgado raised and spent about $96,000. In the 2006 mayoral election, in which three candidates spent a total of more than $355,000 campaigning for the $25,700-a-year part-time position, winner David Coss led the pack at $146,169.

City councilors last year approved putting the campaign-financing amendment on the ballot on the recommendation of a Charter Review Commission. The commission said such a system would eliminate the potential for corruption inherent in the current situation.

The commission stopped short of suggesting a specific financing system, however, because members realized the charter would be difficult to amend in a way that would allow adjustments. The panel also wanted elected officials, instead of appointed ones, to resolve key issues such as whether the system should involve full funding of campaigns, similar to Albuquerque's system, or partial funding, through matching of private donations. Other issues include how to defray the estimated $100,000 to $200,000 annual public cost of supporting campaigns.

Voting Info: Santa Fe 2008 Municipal Election:
You can vote early in-person on a paper absentee ballot through February 29th at the City Clerk's office on the second floor of City Hall, 102 Lincoln Ave. Office hours are 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. If you want to request a mail-in absentee ballot, you must do so before February 29. About 20 polling places will be open March 4 from 7 AM to 7 PM. Click for Election Day polling places or call the City Clerks Office at (505) 955-6521 or (505)955-6520. Voter registration closed earlier this month.

Voters in the Santa Fe municipal election will also elect a City Councilor in four districts and an at-large municipal judge. There are a total of seven Charter Amendments on the ballot. Click for complete information at the Santa Fe City Clerk's website.

The Santa Fe New Mexican online has an to the candidates and some of the Charter Amendments.

February 25, 2008 at 01:29 PM in Ethics & Campaign Reform, Santa Fe Politics | Permalink | Comments (2)