Time to end the presidential fundraising race

Restoring the broken presidential public finance system is a first critical step we must take in reforming from top to bottom the way we fund political campaigns.

In order for this nation to get policies that are truly in the public’s interest on critical issues such as health care, global warming and tax policy, we need to reduce the influence of special interest spending on political campaigns at every level of government, from presidential races on down.

“Anyone watching the 2008 presidential race knows that this contest has been largely about who can raise the most money the fastest, not about ideas and solutions and people,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, regarding the introduction today of federal legislation to fix the presidential public finance system. “We must restore that system so candidates can use it to run competitive campaigns and aren’t consumed by the money race, and then have take office indebted to big donors, all at a cost to the public.”

Common Cause commends the Senate and House sponsors of this bill, Sens. Russell Feingold (D-WI), Barack Obama (D-IL) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Reps. David Price (D-NC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), and Christopher Shays (R-CT), Mike Castle (R-DE) and Todd Platts (R-PA). We urge passage of this important piece of legislation and restoration of the system by 2012, so we don’t have the fundraising arms race that today defines our presidential campaigns.