Should Small Campaign Donations be Matched with Tax Dollars?

“I think there’s no question that many, many Americans, including young Americans, think that the game is rigged right now. If you look at the turnout in the last national election, it was the lowest voter turnout we’ve had since 1942 before the march from Selma to Montgomery… and that’s a travesty,” he said.

“A lot of rational Americans look and they say, ‘Well, if what I am being asked to do is go to the polls and make a choice between two candidates, one of which is going to go to Washington and represent somebody else, then why bother? Why not maintain a little bit of dignity and stay home and not pretend that my voice matters.’”

Sarbanes said public financing of campaigns would cause the candidate pool to diversify.

“People who before could never afford to run, they couldn’t get through the money primary or the so-called green primary, because they didn’t know a lot of people with a lot of money, they’re stepping up and they’re running,” he said.

“In Maine, plumbers and electricians, grocery store clerks are running, competing and winning and serving in the Maine legislature because public financing allows them to get in and be competitive – that’s the promise of bringing that sort of reform to Washington as well.”