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In her article about Carl Goldfield, the new president of New Haven’s Board of Aldermen, Easha Anand suggests that, after having worked on campaign finance reform for eight years, Goldfield abandoned his effort to prohibit those holding contracts with the city from contributing to political campaigns (“Goldfield seeks change on Board,” 2/2). Anand writes that Goldfield realized any such reform would disadvantage New Haven residents running for mayor against an out-of-towner who would still have access to contributions from those with contracts outside the city. The article cites the example of Mayor John DeStefano Jr.’s 2001 Democratic primary campaign against state Sen. Martin Looney.

In fact, out-of-town residents cannot run for mayor, and Sen. Looney was and remains a New Haven resident. That being the case, one wonders precisely why Goldfield abandoned campaign finance reform. It is worth noting, by the way, that DeStefano greatly outspent Looney in the 2001 campaign and drew a substantial amount of his campaign funds from those who held contracts with the city.

At a later point, the article talks about Goldfield’s effort to introduce a scheme that would provide public financing of elections for which the size of contributions and amount of spending would be limited. The objective would be “to put a ceiling on corruption in City Hall.” Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of capping the corruption, it were eliminated?

David Cameron

Feb. 2, 2006

The writer is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the political science. He worked on Martin Looney’s 2001 campaign.

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