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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Miami-Dade County Commissioners Plan to End Voter-Approved Public Financing Program

The Miami-Dade County Commission is redefining chutzpah, threatening to overturn the public financing program for county elections approved by 58% of the voters in a 2000 ballot initiative. As Noah Bierman reports in the Miami Herald, a majority of the Commission voted in a preliminary vote to end the program under a rule which allows the Commission to repeal a voter-approved initiative after it has been in effect for one year.

Members of the Commission who voted to overturn the will of the people point to the two of thirteen candidates who applied for public financing this year whose campaign reports or signature lists were fraudulent. As an editorial in the Miami Herald pointed out however, these problems suggest not the need to repeal the public financing law, but the need to provide more resources for enforcement of the law.

Folks in Florida who want to weigh in on the issue can go to an Oct. 12 Governmental Operations and Environment Committee hearing before it goes back to the commission for a final vote. Or you can contact the Commissioners directly to voice your opinion. (Only Commissioners Katy Sorenson and Jimmy Morales voted against repealing the public financing law in the preliminary vote.)

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