2002 Information For Voters

QUESTION 3: Non-binding Advisory Question

Taxpayer Funding for Political Campaigns

Do you support taxpayer money being used to fund political campaigns for public office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?

SUMMARY

As required by law, summaries are written by the state Attorney General, and the statements describing the effect of a "yes" or "no" vote are written jointly by the State Attorney General and the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

The Legislature has placed this question on the ballot in order to determine whether the people favor or oppose taxpayer money being used to fund political campaigns for public office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The vote on this question is advisory and does not establish a law, repeal a law, or bind the Legislature.

WHAT YOUR VOTE WILL DO

A YES VOTE would advise that the voters favor taxpayer money being used to fund political campaigns for public office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

A NO VOTE would advise that the voters do not favor taxpayer money being used to fund political campaigns for public office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

ARGUMENTS

As provided by law, the 150-word arguments are written by proponents and opponents of each question, and reflect their opinions. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not endorse these arguments, and does not certify the truth or accuracy of any statement made in these arguments. The names of the individuals and organizations who wrote each argument, and any written comments by others about each argument, are on file in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

In Favor: This question, with its deceptive wording, is an attempt to get rid of the Clean Elections Law, which voters created by a 2-1 margin in 1998. The Clean Elections Law increases competition for public office and reduces corporate special interest money in campaigns by providing a limited amount of public financing for candidates who accept strict campaign spending and contribution limits.

Powerful incumbent legislators, who wrote Question 3, oppose the Clean Elections Law because it would force them to compete for their taxpayer-funded jobs.  This year 81% of incumbents will not face opposition.
Don’t be fooled by Beacon Hill.

A “yes” vote is a vote for:

  • Spending limits
  • Less corporate special interest influence
  • More competition and more choices on the ballot

Send a message to Beacon Hill that we’re tired of business as usual, tired of special interest influence, and tired of being ignored. Vote “yes” on Question 3.

Authored by:
Common Cause Massachusetts
59 Temple Place, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02111
617-426-9600 
www.commoncause.org/states/massachusetts
e-mail ccma@commoncause.org

Against: Taxpayer funding of political campaigns is a wasteful use of limited public funds.
The public funding of political campaigns could cost taxpayers over $100 million per four-year election cycle without safeguards to prevent fraud and misuse of taxpayer money.

Massachusetts has arguably the country’s strictest ethics and campaign finance laws: contribution levels are among the nation’s lowest and both gifts and corporate contributions are already prohibited. These laws are not in question.

Limited public funds pay for schools, health care, and public safety, keeping our communities strong. Taxpayer dollars should be spent on these services, not on a poorly constructed, costly plan for taxpayer-funded private political campaigns that you as a taxpayer do not necessarily support or endorse.

No on Question 3 preserves our strict laws against corruption and your taxpayer money for real public needs - such as health care, education, and housing.

Vote no on Question 3.

Authored by:
Honorable Francis J. Larkin
Hopedale, Massachusetts
508-473-9300

EDITORIAL NOTE: By law, only the text of this non-binding question will appear on the ballot. No summary, yes/no statements, or arguments for and against will appear on the ballot for this question.

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