In 2000, Arizona and Maine implemented full public funding for state legislative elections, and Connecticut will do so in 2008. Candidates who opt to accept public funding receive grants that pay for the entire cost of their campaigns. Advocates of these so-called clean elections argue that the programs reduce quid pro quo corruption, increase electoral competitiveness, and open up the process to candidates who lack access to traditional fundraising networks (Phelps 2004). Critics respond that the Maine and Arizona public funding programs have achieved nothing, save for imposing unjust burdens on candidates who refuse to participate (Basham and Zelder 2005).
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