Congress

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$40K And a Round of Golf

That'll get you some decent favors in Washington these days. The former aide to Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and former labor secretary for the Northern Marianas Islands, Mark Zachares will plead guilty tomorrow to accepting a series of gifts, perks and bribes (totalling about $40K) from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for aiding Abramoff in his schemes in Guam and the Marianas.

 

Pays For Itself

Though it doesn't mention the Fair Elections Act by name, this Orlando Sentinel editorial is strongly in favor of a public financing system for congressional elections in the model of Arizona and Maine's Clean Elections programs, arguing that those states offer a much better example than Florida when it comes to reducing the influence of special interest money.

 

Who's Blocking the Sun?

Which Senator is standing in the way of better campaign finance transparency? The Sunlight Foundation is investigating who is holding up a bill to mandate electronic campaign finance filings. They've identified five Senators who won't say whether they put a hold on the bill, or whether they object to it: these five need to come clean.

 

Williams and Williams

Support for full public financing of elections comes from quite different parts of the blogosphere today: first, Armstrong Williams writing on Townhall argues "Clean campaigns will reduce the power of elites by ending the new arms race for money, and bring back the soul of democracy by increasing the power of the people." Byron Williams, in his piece on Huffington Post,<

Mitch on the Money Trail

Well, well. Sen. Mitch McConnell (aka Big Money Mitch) perhaps the most ardent opponent of any kind of campaign finance reform in Congress is out there breaking fundraising records for his 2008 re-election bid. Eighteen months out from election day and he's already got $6 million in his campaign war chest.

More Letters!

You all are tearing up the letters to the editor page - this is terrific! After the front page, the letters to the editor page is the mostly read section of the paper, so this is the way to get the word out about Clean Elections, and the Fair Elections Now Act in the Senate. Keep reading for what Clean Elections activists are writing.

 

FENA Word Gets Around

The Fair Elections Now Act got notice in a couple of stories covering campaign finance issues over the weekend. The Herald & Review talked about the fundraising activity of Fair Elections Now Act sponsor Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL); he knows as well as anyone how big a role fundraising plays, no wonder he's excited about an alternative.

Letter 'Rip!

Wahoo! Public Campaign Action Fund members are tearing up the letters to the editor pages -- just today, three of you had letters published about Clean Elections! Read on to see what your fellow activists are writing.

 

A Perfect Storm

What do you get when you cross a highly competitive slate of Congressional races with a Presidential race? A wooley jumper! Sorry...wrong joke: actually you get a campaign fundraising season sure to dwarf its predecessors in terms of sheer dollars raised and overall number of wealthy donors squeezed dry by a parade of candidates and their fundraising invitations.

 

It's The Bill That They Adore

The Post-Tribune in Gary, Indiana joins the growing list of newspapers expressing support for the Fair Elections Now Act introduced last week in the Senate. They conclude that by raising the profile of voters in elections and reducing the influence of special interest money: "The proposal would go a long way toward eliminating the Jack Abramoffs of the world and take the constraints off congressmen who feel indebted to their financiers."