Category Archives: RunClean

Good government group makes stop in Hyde Park

Hyde Park has a long standing history of breeding politicians and political figures. But with any politics comes some form of financial corruption or deceit from candidates and their campaigns. RunClean.org is trying to change that.

On Sunday at the Southside Hub of Production (SHoP), 1448 E. 57th St., RunClean opened up the discussion of running cleaner elections and getting future candidates on board to a fairer process.

RunClean allows candidates to campaign with dramatically less money by setting spending and funding caps and sharing resources to focus the campaign on the candidate and their causes, rather than how much money they are making on the campaign trail.

So far, the organization has helped campaigns for the 2nd Ward Alderman and the Illinois 18th Congressional District.

“We hope to change the culture of what the citizens and the voters expect,” said Phyllis Mandler, Founder of RunClean.org.

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Group Suggests ‘Schock Waves’ in Illinois Special Election

Most Democratic strategists probably couldn’t name their party’s nominee in the upcoming race for Illinois’ 18th District, or even remember that there is a special election on September 10. But one not-for-profit group is trying to gin up interest in a possible historic outcome, even as the final result is likely to be pretty routine.

Rob Mellon sounds like it could be the name of a band featuring White Zombie’s frontman covering Blind Melon songs. In reality, Mellon is an Army veteran, high school history teacher and the Democratic nominee against Republican Darin LaHood in the race to replace former GOP Rep. Aaron Schock.

“Will ‘Schock’ waves jolt 18th District Special Election into Action on Campaign Finance Reform?” asked a press release over the weekend from RunClean.org, a “not-for-profit vehicle” that “allows” candidates to campaign with dramatically less money if they agree to fundraising or spending caps.

“Capping fundraising was a no-brainer for me, because fundraising is perhaps the thing I like the least about politics,” Mellon said in the release. Candidates who enjoy spending time raising money are as rare as people who can name a second Blind Melon song. But the Democrat’s noble stance is also convenient, since he isn’t likely to come anywhere near the cap.

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WBEZ: The final days of municipal campaigns (audio)

Today, mayoral and aldermanic candidates hit the home stretch. Their schedules are filled with meet-and-greets, speeches and press conferences. Staffers are busy putting the finishing touches on phone calls and mailers, and doing some good old-fashioned door knocking.

We take a look at the final day of the 2015 municipal elections before Chicagoans head to the polls, and more specifically what Chicagoans thought about this campaign season. Were there too many flyers and robocalls? Have they found the right balance with television and radio ads, or has it been overkill?

More at https://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/the-final-days-of-municipal-campaigns

2nd Ward aldermanic race tops $1 million

If money talks, it will have a lot to say in the new 2nd Ward come Election Day.

More than $1 million has poured into the campaign coffers of the six candidates who want to represent the ward, which cuts across 13 North Side neighborhoods stretching from the Gold Coast to Ukrainian Village.

The redrawn ward boundaries are so oddly shaped that one candidate said it looked like “a dog’s breakfast.” It was created in early 2012, when the City Council redrew the wards to account for population shifts documented in the 2010 census. The current 2nd Ward alderman is Bob Fioretti, who chose to run for mayor after the ward boundaries were shifted north.

Most of the new ward is booming, thanks to high-rise developers and urban pioneers. Its median household income rose nearly 10 percent in a decade — reaching $82,309 in 2010, according to census data complied by the Chicago Rehab Network.

That economic dynamic, coupled with the chance to pick a brand new alderman, has led to the influx of campaign contributions and makes the 2nd Ward contest one of the city’s most expensive Tuesday. Developers, attorneys, unions, politicians, restaurant owners, family members and special interest groups have pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign where development has been an issue.

Read more at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-second-ward-election-money-met-20150219-story.html#page=1

2nd Ward a Pilot for Fund-Limiting Organization RunClean

LINCOLN PARK — A group of five philanthropic women are trying to rein in the influence of money on local elections, starting in Chicago.

The group behind RunClean.org chose Chicago’s 2nd Ward to launch their program and four of the six candidates have jumped on board.

Those four candidates have agreed to a fundraising limit.

In exchange, RunClean has provided a website laying out each candidate’s background, resume and views on a dozen relevant issues in the race in the form of a voters’ guide.

The group has also sent out a mailer detailing the four candidates’ platforms.

“This race should not simply be about who can send out the most mailings and most robocalls,” said Cornell Wilson III, a candidate who has taken RunClean’s pledge.

Read more at http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150220/lincoln-park/2nd-ward-pilot-for-fund-limiting-organization-runclean

RunClean.Org uses Chicago 2nd Ward race for model of campaign with voluntary fund limits

Four candidates for alderman in the 2nd ward have taken the bold step to break the customary candidates’ bondage to fundraising and end big money politics in Chicago. By partnering in a pilot project with RunClean.org., a new non-partisan, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to get big money out of political elections, candidates will be able to spend more time focused on voters, instead of soliciting donors.

“So many dollars are wasted on too many mailings and attack ads,” said Steve Niketopolous, one of the four candidates. “I joined and supported RunClean because of their values being placed on the message, not the money.”

In exchange for pledging to cap their own fundraising, Niketopoulos, Bita Buenrostro, Stacey Pfingsten, and Cornell Wilson III are able to campaign with less money, offering an alternative to the usual advertizing frenzy associated with political campaigns.

“Campaigns should be about the message you are trying to send , not how many glossy mailers or TV commercials you can air. “ said Pfingsten. “With all the money we spend on campaigns, we could be building more schools, paving our roads, reopening mental health clinics.”

Read more at http://www.rebootillinois.com/2015/02/12/editors-picks/phyllis-mandler/runclean-org-uses-chicago-2nd-ward-race-model-campaign-voluntary-fund-limits/33068/

Four 2nd ward candidates tell why they are taking a stand against big money fundraising.

Information Sheet – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Carla G. Jankowski
Email: cjankowski@comcast.net
Phone: 312-504-7025

With so much recent attention focused on the size of candidates’ political war chests, voters would find it refreshing to learn about four candidates in the 2nd ward who have pledged to take less money. In this press release, these candidates explain why they have chosen to partner with a new organization devoted to taking the big dollars out of campaigning and offering candidates an alternative way to reach voters– with dramatically less money.

Four 2nd ward candidates tell why they are taking a stand against big money fundraising.

runclean-jan-16-2015

Four candidates for alderman in the 2nd ward have taken the bold step to break the customary candidates’ bondage to fundraising and end big money politics in Chicago. By partnering in a pilot project with RunClean.org., a new non-partisan, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to get big money out of political elections, candidates will be able to spend more time focused on voters, instead of soliciting donors.

“So many dollars are wasted on too many mailings and attack ads,” said Steve Niketopolous, one of the four candidates. “I joined and supported RunClean because of their values being placed on the message, not the money.”

In exchange for pledging to cap their own fundraising, Niketopoulos, Bita Buenrostro, Stacey Pfingsten, and Cornell Wilson III are able to campaign with less money, offering an alternative to the usual advertizing frenzy associated with political campaigns.

“Campaigns should be about the message you are trying to send , not how many glossy mailers or TV commercials you can air. “ said Pfingsten. “With all the money we spend on campaigns, we could be building more schools, paving our roads, reopening mental health clinics.”

Wilson was also eager to participate “ because I believe in pushing ideas first. We should all be judged on the quality of our ideas and the content of our character. This race should not simply be about who can send out the most mailings and use the most robo-calls,” said Wilson.

In exchange for agreeing to cap their fundraising, information provided by the four candidates appears in the VOTERS’ GUIDE on the RunClean.org website: their biographies and their straightforward statements telling who I am, where I stand on the issues, and what I will do. There is also an ISSUES page that shows the candidates’ positions on eleven community concerns, side by side, for easy comparison by voters.

“We all want the best people to declare themselves as candidates and unfortunately, funding a campaign can present a barrier to many well-qualified people,” said Buenrostro. “Organizations such as RunClean.org help to make the ‘playing field’ a little bit more level.”

These four 2nd ward candidates believe the time to take the big money out of political elections needs to begin now. “The system is set up for the candidates with the most money to run the show, and to ensure that they will take money that will conflict with their role as a community representative,” said Niketopolous. “If the city is to move forward and away from pay to play politics, we need candidates with the integrity to not just focus on fundraising, but instead focus on the real people that make up our communities and neighborhoods.”

“The greatest problem with our current system of financing political campaigns is that we, as a nation, have allowed money to equal speech. As such, individuals with the most money too often shape our political discussion, whether at the local or federal level.” Wilson stated.

RunClean.org believes that voters in the second ward who explore the website will find invaluable information about these four candidates to help them make informed choices. RunClean.org does not support or oppose any political candidates. It is funded with private donations at no cost to the candidates. The 2nd ward provided a perfect opportunity to test out a model it hopes to replicate in other elections and communities throughout the nation. .

“We all got involved in forming this organization because we were outraged by the unprecedented funds being contributed to campaigns by a small number of donors who gain great influence on elected officials,” said Phyllis Mandler, RunClean.org, Board President.

The RunClean initiative offers a good balance that allows candidates to commit to a reasonable cap on funds. I’d like to see RunClean succeed in our 2nd ward and in Chicago. “ said Buenrostro.

Deluge of campaign cash trumps limits

Once upon a time, Illinois was known as the “Wild West” of campaign finance because the state lacked any substantive limits on what candidates could raise and spend on their runs for political office.

That was supposed to change five years ago, when lawmakers in Springfield established the state’s first-ever contribution limits.

But the deluge of dollars resumed a year later, following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Citizens United case, which struck down spending limits on corporations, labor unions and outside political funds.

That, along with a major loophole in Illinois’ campaign finance law, produced an unparalleled fundraising orgy of nearly $100 million in this year’s governor’s race, nearly twice the $55 million raised in 2010.

Read more at http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/7/71/210937/deluge-campaign-cash-trumps-limits/