The next governor will have an opportunity to do something that no governor in recent memory has really tried to accomplish: to bring about real reform of Alabama’s broken campaign financing system. Until a governor and legislative leaders really make campaign finance reform a top priority, and then do more than talk about it, nothing of real significance will happen. It’s clear as a bell that we need reform across the board in our state. Not only should amounts that can be donated to candidates be restricted, but the amounts that candidates can spend in state elections must also have reasonable limits. Limits on the amounts that political parties can give must also be a part of real reform. In addition, third-party groups that do not have to disclose the sources of their funds should not be allowed to participate at all in state elections.
Judicial races must be treated differently than other races for obvious reasons. Candidates for judicial positions must be required to run in non-partisan elections. The amounts that can be given to candidates and the amounts they can spend must have reasonable limits. No PAC money, no political party, and no third party group money should be allowed in judicial races.
Hopefully, the next governor will make campaign finance reform one of his top priorities and be 100% committed. That is the only way that real reform will ever come about. But when you get down to it, it will really be up to the people of Alabama to make sure reform is a top priority.
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