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Political spending gets new attention

Advocates hope legislation to publicly fund elections will gain mainstream support

It was an early flashpoint in the Democratic gubernatorial primary: Which candidate was doing more to turn away corporate campaign donations?

It was a key factor in the Democrats’ race for the 1st Congressional District nomination, as Maura Sullivan’s massive war chest, filled with out-of-state contributions, evolved from asset to political liability.

Now as the remaining candidates sprint to the Nov. 6 election, the reality for many is inescapable: How they raise their money is becoming as critical as how much they raised.

And after a primary in which Sullivan, a Washington establishmentbacked New Hampshire transplant, lost handily to Chris Pappas, who had raised a fraction of Sullivan’s haul, one group says the state needs to assert a much bigger role in the way campaigns fund themselves.

Enter Open Democracy Action, a campaign finance reform advocacy group that hopes to drive a new focus to an old idea: publicly funded elections. The organization is pushing legislation to provide public


ETHAN DeWITT Capital Beat

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