Campaign finance reports filed late last week show the three winners in the statewide Corporation Commission race were the only candidates to receive outside money. They all received the same amount from the same organizations.
A deal reached Monday will short-circuit an attempt to get voters to scrap public financing of elections.
The 1998 law allows but does not require candidates to get public funds if they agree not to take outside cash. Foes, including business interests, have been unhappy with the plan for years. And they had the votes lined up at the Legislature to ask voters to effectively repeal the law. Sen. John McComish said the deal allows the system to remain in place, but with some new restrictions on how it spends money on public relations.