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Lynch and the Politics of Reform

Congressional candidate Bill Lynch's call for term limits this morning highlights an interesting subplot in the race to succeed Patrick Kennedy: a campaign to be crowned Mr. Clean Government.

Fixing a broken Washington is a time-honored campaign trope, of course. But it is of particular urgency in this season of deeper-than-usual voter discontent. Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline, also in the race, has some natural purchase on the issue: he was elected as a reformer, after all, in the wake of Buddy Cianci's reign. State Representative David Segal, also running for the post, has pressed for public funding of campaigns in the General Assembly and is now advocating a federal constitutional convention aimed at reducing corporate influence on elections. Businessman Anthony Gemma's campaign is built, almost entirely, on the premise that he is an outsider who can reform the system; his emphasis has been on better communication with constituents and among elected officials.

Lynch, the former party chairman, has the toughest argument to make, having been the consummate insider for years. He is clearly hoping the call for term limits will get him in the game. We'll see how he fares.

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