Common Cause on Campaign Finance Reform
|January 9, 2007||Posted by Staff under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Reform Plan — Fundamental or Superficial?
US Campaign Finance Reform Bill Reaches Full Senate
The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill is being debated this week in the United States Senate. Here is a news announcement about it, from Common Cause.
JUST SAY NO to Soft Money!
AMERICA: Your politicans are addicted to money. During the last election, Democrats and Republicans raised almost half a BILLION dollars in soft money — the corrupting and unregulated dollars that flow into the political parties from corporations, unions, and wealthy donors. This corrupting soft money has dangerously shifted the power in Washington — away from the people and to the wealthy special interests who today control OUR democracy with their money.
We’re talking MILLIONS of dollars from well-connected corporations, special interest groups, and lobbyists. In the last election alone, lawyers and lobbyists as a group gave tens of millions of dollars to influence Washington. The telecommunications industry gave more than $17 million. Drug makers gave more than $10 million. Unions gave tens of millions. Tobacco companies gave millions. The National Rifle Association and related groups gave millions.
We all know that these groups gave this money in order to get something in return — be it a tax break, a subsidy, or a special favor from Washington.
Are you mad yet? You ought to be. All this money from Special Interests has created a democracy that opens its doors only to the highest bidders. The rest of us aren’t being heard at all.
STAGE AN INTERVENTION
We can defeat the Special Interests. And, we have an opportunity to do that RIGHT NOW. Today, the U.S. Senate is considering legislation that will ban soft money. The soft money ban legislation, McCain-Feingold, is a strong reform and a powerful way for citizens to be heard again.
The only way to break the vicious habit of soft money is for YOU to demand that it ends. Demand that your elected Senators BAN SOFT MONEY by voting for the McCain-Feingold Bill, and against any amendments that will weaken the bill. There’s a reason why the AFL-CIO, the American Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association, and nearly all other big fatcat money interests oppose McCain-Feingold: it takes the power away from them, and gives it back to the people.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator. TELL THEM THEY MUST VOTE FOR McCAIN-FEINGOLD and AGAINST KILLER AMENDMENTS. (There are a number of amendments that seek to weaken the bill.)
You can go to the Common Cause website and use our Take Action utility to fax your Senators:
MORE ON SOFT MONEY
– Since 1907, it has been illegal for corporations to spend money in connection with federal elections.
– Since 1947, it has been illegal for labor unions to spend money in connection with federal elections.
– And since 1974, it has been illegal for an individual to contribute more than $1,000 to a federal candidate -per election, or more than $20,000 per year to a political party, for the purpose of influencing a federal election.
Soft money is money which violates these rules. It is the corporate donations, the union contributions and the large — $100,000, $250,000 or even $1 million – contributions given by wealthy individuals to the political parties. IT MUST BE STOPPED.
A list of the top soft money donors for the last election can be found online at:
A searchable database of soft money donors is online at: http://commoncause.org/laundromat/
What’s your opinion? What would be the result of campaign finance reform? What other realistic steps might bring democracy to the USA? Tell your views to The Progress Report!