Campaign Finance Reform Worked in Connecticut, Say Representative of the Constitution State

April 29, 2013 | Legislative Gazette |

J. Mijin Cha, a senior policy analyst for Demos — a New York City based good government group — and principle author of the report titled "Fresh Start: The Impact of Public Campaign Financing in Connecticut," alongside former Connecticut Secretary of State Miles Rapoport and current Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, cited significant changes in Connecticut's legislative process since publicly financed campaigns and encourages New York state to pass similar legislation.

"The reason we produced the report is to make sure that Connecticut's experience, in the three election cycles that we've already had, is known by the legislators here in New York as they consider similar legislation that has been proposed," said Rapoport, who serves as the president of Demos.

The report looks at how public financing has impacted campaigning, the legislative process, policy outcomes, and the dynamics of the Legislature. It also combines "empirical data with interviews of current and former legislators to paint a complete picture of the promise of a public financing program," according to a Demos press release.

Rapoport, who co-authored the report, said his 15 years in Connecticut politics — 10 years in the state Legislature, four years as secretary of state — gave him the opportunity to experience the system as it was before Connecticut passed the public financing law in 2005 "and the difference that has been made has been truly extraordinary," he said.