Marc Caplan

Marc Caplan, a program officer for the Proteus Fund, is responsible for its Piper Fund for Campaign Finance Reform.

Recent Articles

Why Not Connecticut?

A model grassroots organizing campaign mobilizes public opinion for universal coverage in a state long dominated by private insurers.

Connecticut -- still known as the insurance capital of the United States even with takeovers and significant layoffs in the industry -- might be the last state conventional wisdom would expect to break new ground in the fight for universal health care. But it could well happen. Strong advocates and legislative proponents, significant business support for real change, and an innovative health-care foundation implementing a well-funded broad-based organizing campaign are positioning Connecticut to provide national leadership on the issue. Connecticut's legislature has strong advocates for universal coverage in its top leadership, including state House Majority Leader Christopher Donovan and state Senate President Donald Williams. The 2007 legislative session expanded Connecticut's HUSKY health-insurance program for uninsured children and their low-income parents, and increased funding for community- and school-based clinics. But for the long term, the most important action -- led by...

New Openings for Public Financing

There may not be much hope for the current system of presidential public funded elections, but several states are leading the way on this issue, and even more may be joining them in the coming year.

Former Sen. John Edwards' decision last month to accept public financing for the Democratic primaries made news because all the other leading candidates had abandoned the public system in favor of relying on private donations. But Edwards later clarified that he would not rule out accepting private funds for the general election. The reality is that the present presidential public-financing system isn't working and that all the leading Democratic contenders have endorsed fixing it. What hasn't made headlines, but should, is substantial activity to enact new comprehensive public-financing systems in several states. Last month, for example, Democrats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives made it a priority to establish a framework for public financing of state elections for the 2008 legislative session. This was a startling development, considering that the state legislature had not even considered a public-financing bill in the last seven years. The Granite State isn't unique...