Campaign Finance Reform No. 268A
Americans for Democratic Action has a long-standing commitment to fundamental campaign finance reform. We have called for public financing for all congressional candidates who qualify as candidates under state laws and urged Congress and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to strengthen campaign financing laws and regulations relating to presidential elections.
ADA has long considered that reasonable regulation of campaign contributions and expenditures remains consistent with our venerable free speech tradition and that loopholes in campaign finance law allowing unlimited individual and independent campaign spending ought to be closed.
At present, the escalating cost of electoral campaigns deters qualified candidates from seeking election. Fundraising undermines public confidence in the integrity of campaigns, distorts the political process, weakens political parties, and diverts attention from important public policy questions. In view of massive public discontent and distrust - reflected in declining voter turnout and in public opinion polls - it is urgent that we fight vigorously for public financing at both the federal and state levels.
A large part of the present problem is the FEC, initially established to oversee campaign financing and propose legislative reform where necessary. Rather than serving as an independent body with the public's interest at heart, the Commission is composed of party loyalists committed to the status quo. FEC decisions have opened windows to unregulated campaigning and soft money in violation of the spirit of campaign finance reform law. As a specific instance, it has formulated regulations that undermine and create loopholes in the ban on soft money that was enacted as part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform (McCain-Feingold) Act of 2002.
In order to create a more open and equitable elections process, ADA:
To further strengthen the role of the FEC, ADA:
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