The Star-Ledger

Clean-Elections Success

The Star-Ledger — Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Star-Ledger Reader Forum

I was one of the "clean-elections" candidates who ran for Assembly last year. Your Sept. 6 editorial called the program a "flop" mainly because the incumbent party lost in only one of nine clean-elections races. But the chief reason clean elections were attempted was to take power from the crooked special-interest groups that run New Jersey. Clean-elections candidates aren't allowed to accept donations from special-interest groups. I know this program worked because I received calls from many special-interest groups trying to donate to me. They were upset when I re fused their money. I saw firsthand how these groups push themselves on candidates. It's a shame that many newspapers side with special-interest groups because they are responsible for large campaign donations spent on media advertising.

In my district, the 24th, voter turnout rose 40 percent due to clean elections. Also, in a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 3-to-1, I lost by only a 2-to-1 margin, thanks in large part to the program.

The one failure associated with clean elections is that the program wasn't allowed to continue. It wasn't so much clean elections "flopping" as much as special interests and cronyism winning again.

— Pat Walsh, Mount Olive

Copyright 2008 The Star-Ledger

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