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Campaign-finance system hobbles third-party challengers

I agree with the Aug. 27 editorial that Massachusetts should change its campaign-finance laws, and I strongly agree that super PACs are obliterating fair elections. But calling for raising the $500 state limit on donations to candidates is not the way to go. What’s missing from this equation is the huge amount of money the two major parties can use to support their candidates once their primaries are over.

Under state law, created by Democrats and Republicans, the two parties can receive multiple thousands of dollars per person, and then can contribute unlimited amounts to support their favored candidates’ campaigns. Notably, all independent candidates are explicitly blocked from any such fund-raising largesse. As if to underscore the point, the misnamed “people’s pledge” has a huge loophole that never seems to be mentioned: It places no limit on in-kind contributions by a party to an individual candidate — contributions that represent millions of dollars, as they did in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Ironically, by setting up this model, the parties in effect have made themselves the model for what super PACs are today. When it comes to fixing our broken campaign-finance system, we need to change the entire cynical, entitled mind-set.

Evan Falchuk


The writer is an independent candidate for governor.

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