Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Poll finds more support for N.C. campaign finance reform

The N.C. Center for Voter Education, which was instrumental several years ago in setting up the successful program for public funding of appellate judicial candidates who agree to fundraising and spending limits in political campaigns, is touting a new poll that shows increased support for campaign finance reform in N.C. elections.

Its results -- from the firm Public Policy Polling -- show support across the political spectrum because of a public perception that special interests control N.C. elections. Seven out of 10 voters favor reform; less than 1 supports the status quo.

And there's this: The poll found that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to support a major overhaul of the campaign finance system. That makes sense, because Democrats have controlled the General Assembly as well as most executive branch offices for so long that Republicans have a hard time making headway in a state that has become known for corruption.

Here's a grab from the Center's news release a little while ago:

"An overwhelming majority of North Carolina voters are concerned by the role of special interest money in state politics and support bold reforms to the campaign finance system, according to a new poll from the nonpartisan N.C. Center for Voter Education.

"According to the survey, 71 percent of voters favor a major overhaul to the state’s campaign finance system. Just 6 percent favor the status quo.

"The poll finds that concerns about the role of special interest money in North Carolina elections are held across party lines. Republican voters are slightly more likely than Democrats to support a major overhaul of the state’s campaign finance system, with 75 percent and 69 percent in favor of such a change, respectively.

“'Regardless of party affiliation, North Carolinians see the need to ensure that our democracy works for everyone,' says Damon Circosta, executive director of the N.C. Center for Voter Education. 'Good government is not a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats alike are willing to support candidates who look for bold solutions to this problem.'

"In addition to supporting significant campaign finance reform, 54 percent of voters would favor a candidate whose campaign was funded by taxpayer money over a candidate whose campaign was funded by special interests. Just 20 percent would favor a candidate funded by special interests -- 26 percent are unsure.

"The survey finds that 67 percent of state voters believe the power of special interests has increased in the N.C. Legislature over the past decade. Eight in 10 believe that state lawmakers listen more to groups that fund their campaigns than to average voters."

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