Murphy suggested two ways out of this trap. One is crowd-sourced fundraising, which is already occurring over the Internet. Murphy stated that his Senate campaign raised $4 million of its $10 million total from donors giving online. That meant he did not have to call wealthy donors to raise 40 percent of his campaign haul.
The second way to curtail the dependence on wealthy donors, and the indirect influence it creates, is a public financing system for campaigns. Murphy held up the system adopted by Connecticut in 2006 as a prime example of how public financing can help realign a legislature to focus more on governing than on telemarketing for cash.
"We have a cleaner system of government in this state where people run based on their ideas, not based on their ability to raise money," Murphy said.
A study by the liberal think tank Demos, which included interviews with Connecticut lawmakers, backs up Murphy's statements. It found that public financing in the state "is bringing more voices into the political system by increasing the number of donors for most candidates, encouraging more people to run for office, and increasing the diversity of those who do run."
Read the report: Fresh Start: The Impact of Public Campaign Financing in Connecticut