Collecting Campaign Cash from the Homeless
In the special election to be decided next Tuesday between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, high-dollar donors and outside groups have pushed spending to just under $40 million, a House record…. In municipal elections now unfolding in Seattle, by contrast, housing activist Jon Grant is collecting campaign contributions from a very different source — the city’s homeless encampments. Homeless donors are helping power Grant’s campaign for city council thanks to a new public financing program that gives every Seattle voter four vouchers worth $25 each…. Such is the dichotomy between the federal campaign-finance system, where unrestricted money reigns supreme, and the experiments in publicly funded, citizen-powered elections that are popping up around the country in cities, states, and municipalities like Seattle, Maine, and Montgomery County, Maryland…. No one expects action any time soon, however, on the leading campaign-finance bill on Capitol Hill, authored by House Democrat John Sarbanes, of Maryland—though Sarbanes does have more than 150 co-sponsors.