Rep. Visclosky Expose Shows Need for “Fair Elections” Campaign Reform

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  • Dale Eisman

Investigation reveals conflicts of interest in earmark procurement

Today, the Washington Post published a front-page article on earmarks that Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) secured for a handful of campaign contributors, none of which were based in his home state of Indiana.

“The reported connections between Rep. Visclosky’s campaign contributors and the earmarks he secured are just another example of Washington’s pay-to-play political system” said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign.

“Sadly, it’s no longer a surprise to see these sorts of stories play out in Washington,” said Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause. “Rep. Visclosky can make it clear to his constituents that their interests, not those of powerful campaign contributors, come first by supporting the Fair Elections Now Act.”

The Fair Elections Now Act would allow congressional candidates to run for office without having to rely on big campaign contributions. Candidates could run their campaigns on a mixture of small donations and public funding, and take office unencumbered by the agendas and expectations of large donors.

The legislation (HR 1826 in the House and S. 752 in the Senate) was introduced in March by Democratic Caucus Chair John Larson (D-Conn.) and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). In addition to Rep. Larson, the House bill has 107 cosponsors.

Based in Washington, D.C., Public Campaign is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing comprehensive reform of America’s election laws and works to hold politicians accountable for the favors they do for special interests.