TSE President talks about campaign financing and the Clean Record Law

On February 11 Justice Marco Aurélio recorded the second episode of the TV program “Elections 2014 – a conversation with the President of the Superior Electoral Court”, in which he receives guest journalists for an informal talk about topics related to the electoral process. The topics for this episode were campaign financing and the Clean Record Law (Complementary Law 135/2010).

On February 11 Justice Marco Aurélio recorded the second episode of the TV program “Elections 2014 – a conversation with the President of the Superior Electoral Court”, in which he receives guest journalists for an informal talk about topics related to the electoral process. The topics for this episode were campaign financing and the Clean Record Law (Complementary Law 135/2010). The guest journalists were Fernando Rodrigues, from Folha de São Paulo, Christina Lemos, from TV Record, Luiz Orlando Carneiro, from JB Online, and José Maria Trindade, from Rádio Jovem Pan.

The idea of the show is to debate the topics on an informal chat with professionals from all types of media vehicles. In the opinion of the Jovem Pan journalist, this type of the debate is very important because “it represents opening up not just to the guest journalists, but to society in general. It was a very open, democratic interview, and I recommend the show,” he said.

Luiz Orlando, in turn, believes that high authorities should, every once in a while, establish that kind of contact with press professionals. According to him, this proximity of the TSE with the media is very important, particularly in an election year.

In the opinion of journalist Christina Lemos, Justice Marco Aurélio has a very interesting trait, that of “changing behavior patterns.. She highlighted that “when a Judge speaks, it is because of a need to express oneself, to communicate with society. We must show that the Judiciary Power is not locked up in a castle. Yes, the Judiciary communicates, and explains its actions, and the population understands that this Power exists to protect them. A TSE Justice talking [to society] about elections, and electoral rules and regulations, is crucial. Maybe people will ‘come to the ballot’, rather than ‘come to the streets’, like the protest messages have been clamoring. Come to the ballot, vote, exercise your right. And we hope other Judges, other representatives of the Judiciary, understand that they must also communicate with society.”

For Fernando Rodrigues, “it is very important when a member of the STF and the TSE creates this space to debate with journalists on topics of relevance to society.” According to him, it is a way to better know the Justice’s opinion and what is going to happen, “particularly in an election year as important as this year.”

In the beginning of the conversation, when asked about his opinion on the financing of electoral campaigns by companies, Justice Marco Aurélio said that we cannot believe in “altruism” here, because “there is obviously an expectation of consideration [for their contributions], which is very costly to society.” In other words, donor companies will always expect some form of compensation from those they help elect. The Justice affirmed that he is in favor of exclusively public financing for campaigns, but with rigid rules of control.

When talking about the Clean Record Law, Justice Marco Aurélio defined it as a “second triage,” since the first one is to be exercised by voters, who must keep bad politicians away from public life. He highlighted the importance of participation in the elections, particularly by younger voters. “We must call upon the young to participate in the 2014 elections,” he emphasized.