Senate hearing bolsters case for Fair Elections Now Act

Senate hearing bolsters case for Fair Elections Now Act
  • Dale Eisman

The Fair Elections Now Act (S749) would put American voters back at the center of our elections, allowing candidates for Congress to run competitive races on a base of small donations from individuals rather than the large corporate, trade group and other special interest contributions, Common Cause said today.

“We’re pleased to see this important bill getting consideration early in the 112th Congress,” Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, said following a bill hearing Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s constitution subcommittee “I hope all senators will pay particular attention to the testimony by their former colleague, Sen. Alan Simpson, who with typical candor reminded us of the public’s distaste for our current campaign finance system and the importance of repairing it.”

Simpson testified: “We were elected to legislate. You can’t legislate when you’re raising money day and night.The American people think we’re on the take” from big donors.

The Fair Elections Now Act would give grants and public matching funds to candidates who agree to accept donations of no more than $100 from individuals. The voluntary reform is sponsored by Senate by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and in the House by Reps. John Larson (D-CT), Walter Jones (R-NC) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME).