“You say you want to serve your country by running as a candidate for Congress today? Show me the money. Otherwise, you will be shown the door.”- Bob Kerrey
A group of over 160 prominent women today released a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the New York State Legislature urging them to ensure public financing of state elections is passed in this year’s budget. The bipartisan group of women, including Republican Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Gloria Steinem, join a rapidly growing group of national and New York leaders calling on Governor Cuomo to push for passage of his proposal to eliminate the undue influence that big money donors hold over the electoral process in New York, and for the state Legislature to support it.
In announcing the appointment, John Rauh, Chair of the Board of ACR, said, “Our Board felt strongly that the leader of ACR should have real-life experience running campaigns, raising campaign funds and serving in public office. We also agreed that a history of bipartisan, constructive movement building was vital. Barbara Lawton offers ACR all this, and more.”
Our leaders should be elected by, and accountable to, the voters based on their ideas, ability, experience, and character, not their access to individuals, entities or special interests that can give and raise large campaign contributions. A public funding system should support candidates who can show widespread support by building a base of small donor contributions.
In this brief, amicus demonstrates that the sum is much greater than that, given the possibility of a potentially unlimited number of political action committees (“PACs”) to which a contributor may make contributions up to the base limit set for contributions to such committees. Each such committee may then make contributions to individual candidates. In view of the iron rule that in political campaigns whatever may lawfully be done will be done, without aggregate contribution limits, the amount of money that a contributor can hope to direct to a chosen candidate is virtually limitless.
In a letter sent today to the five FEC Commissioners, reform groups urged Commissioners to take no action regarding the FEC Enforcement Manual until the two nominees who have been appointed to serve on the Commission are confirmed and take office
The reform groups sending the letter include Americans for Campaign Reform, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Demos, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation and U.S PIRG.
ACR supports voluntary public funding of elections through a system which encourages candidates to rely on small donations from a large number of supporters, provides matching funds to maximize the impact of small donations, requires full disclosure of money spent to influence elections, has reasonable contribution limits and provides each eligible candidate with the resources necessary to run an effective, competitive and winning campaign.
All of us at Americans for Campaign Reform are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause. Bob was a true public servant who dedicated his life to making our democracy more responsive to everyone.
On January 15, four members of the Task Force on Election Reform, led by Congressman John Larson (D-CT) introduced three campaign-finance reform bills aimed at empowering small donors, reducing the influence of well-financed special interests and encouraging candidates to spend time with their constituents, as opposed to spending time with those who can write or raise the biggest checks.
On January 17, 2013, a letter was sent to Senators and Representatives urging them to oppose efforts to restore the party soft money system or increase party contribution limits.
The reform groups include Americans for Campaign Reform, Brennan Center for Justice, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Demos, League of Women Voters, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG.
The enclosed letter was sent by reform groups yesterday urging House members to oppose the Cole bill, H.R. 5912, scheduled to be on the suspension calendar today.
The reform groups include Americans for Campaign Reform, Brennan Center for Justice, the Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters and Public Citizen.
The Cole bill would repeal public funding of national conventions. The letter states that the reform groups “oppose this legislation and its piecemeal approach to dealing with convention financing.”