House Committee Passes Historic Fair Elections Legislation
- Dale Eisman
Congress Should Immediately Push for a Floor Vote
Washington, D.C.-The Committee on House Administration passed the Fair Elections Now Act today, an historic step forward in putting elections back in the hands of voters, according to the Campaign for Fair Elections.
“With this committee vote, voters won and special interests lost,” said David Donnelly, campaign manager of the Campaign for Fair Elections. “Chairman Robert Brady and his colleagues on the committee must be commended for their strong leadership on Fair Elections, and for voting to place government back into the hands of the American people.”
“This is a huge step forward for voters who feel ignored by Washington,” said Common Cause President and CEO Bob Edgar. “Because as long as we have politicians answering to corporations and lobbyists who finance their campaigns, they will never be accountable to the people who elected them. Common Cause applauds this committee vote today and urges the full House to vote on the bill as soon as possible.”
“As big corporate money floods into this year’s elections, today’s reform victory sends a strong signal to Congress that it’s time to move forward with a pro-voter Fair Elections policy that would curb lawmakers’ dependence on special interest campaign donations. We look forward to a floor vote,” said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. “We also want to praise Reps. John Larson, Walter Jones, and Chellie Pingree for their extraordinary commitment to making our government of, by, and for the people.”
The Campaign will also begin airing a new television ad to urge Congress to pass Fair Elections. The latest spot features actor Sam Waterston and interviews with both conservatives and progressives (available here: http://bit.ly/waterston).
The Fair Elections Now Act would allow candidates to run competitive campaigns for office by relying on small donations from people back home. Sponsored by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Fair Elections would let members of Congress focus on their constituents instead of raising money from lobbyists or other special interests. Candidates would raise donations of $100 or less from their home state, which would be matched on a four-to-one basis. The system is funded by the sale of broadcast spectrum and would not cost taxpayers a dime.
More than 170 state and national organizations submitted letters of support to the committee in support of this legislation. Letters of support are available at http://fairelectionsnow.org/2010markupletters
Learn more about the bill at www.fairelectionsnow.org.