Yesterday, the Midwest Democracy Network–a nonpartisan alliance of 20 civic and public interest groups in the Midwest–released former U.S. Senator John Edwards’ and U.S. Senator Barrack Obama’s responses to a questionnaire on federal political and government reform issues. The questionnaire was sent to all Democratic and Republican Party presidential candidates, but the two Democrats were the only ones that responded. Regarding the limited participation in their questionnaire, the Midwest Democracy Network issued a statement saying that:
“Unfortunately, the vast majority of the presidential candidates chose not to address voters’ concerns about the health and direction of American democracy. Their silence is disappointing, and, of course, the American people have every reason to feel let down and badly treated.”
In their responses, Edwards and Obama took a number of positions calling for a variety of electoral reforms. Both candidates said that they would strengthen the public financing system for presidential elections and both said that they would be willing to accept public funds for their campaign if their Republican challenger did. They also both support voluntary financing of Congressional races and electronic filing for campaign finance data in Senate races. In addition, the candidates support stronger limits to prevent the so-called “Revolving Door” where administration officials move into lobbying jobs after leaving government. They also both support a variety of reforms designed to make voting easier, more effective, and less corruptible.