Fair Elections Now Act

One Change

If you hadn't heard, this presidential election is going to be about "change." Richard Cohen at the Washington Post says if you want to see real change it's time to fix the way we finance campaigns in our country and move to a full public financing system.

Cohen dispatches with the red herring arguments over lobbyists and heads right for the essential conflict:

 

Oil Money Trumps Energy Policy

Yesterday evening the Senate passed a watered down version of the energy bill that the House of Representatives passed last week. The oil and gas industry, and their allies in the Senate to whom they’ve given millions in campaign contributions, kept their billions in tax giveaways; while investment in alternative energy sources was deferred.

John Rauh on Fair Elections

John Rauh, former candidate for Senate from New Hampshire and founder of Americans for Campaign Reform talked to The Enquirer in his home town of Cincinnati about his commitment to winning full public financing of elections for congressional and presidential races.

Our Question

A new project called 10Questions is collecting videotaped questions for presidential candidates from people around the country. Visitors to the site give a "thumbs up" to the top ten questions and they will get passed on to the candidates.

Small Distinction

Our own Nancy Watzman bursts the bubble of small-donor hype that's grown around this presidential election cycle. Read her entry at The Huffington Post, part of an ongoing campaign analysis series called "Off the Bus," to learn why the rise of the small donor is dwarfed beside ongoing big donor dominance.

Caller On the Line

Senator and presidential candidate Chris Dodd was on NPR's On Point last night for an extended question and answer session with callers primarily from Iowa and New Hampshire. Towards the end of the program, a caller from Ames, Iowa asked for Dodd's position on public financing of elections, in particular the Fair Elections Now Act sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin and Arlen Specter. Listen to the clip here.

Power Sharing

Arnold Hiatt, the former CEO of StrideRite and a prolific campaign donor, wants to decrease his own influence on elections. In this editorial for the Boston Globe he urges support of the Fair Elections Now Act in the Senate, and its companion bill in the House to create a public financing option for congressional races.

The Players Hate the Game

This article in The Columbus Dispatch is full of reasons why Congress needs to pass the Fair Elections Now Act and implement full public financing of elections. Lobbyists are dodging fundraising calls, lawmakers are wary of new regulations on their relationships with lobbyists, and voter advocates all over are crying foul on the access lobbyists can buy with campaign cash.

Durbin on Campaign Finance

National Journal's CongressDaily carried an interview with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) today. In addition to being the Assistant Senate Majority Leader, Durbin is the sponsor, along with Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) of the Fair Elections Now Act to bring public financing to congressional elections. As such, Durbin has been speaking out frequently about the need to change the way we finance campaign and spoke about it eloquently in the interview.

Small Checks, Big Changes

E.J. Dionne heralds the rise of the small donor in today's Washington Post, pointing to the Supreme Court drubbing of campaign finance regulation and Barack Obama's successful online small-donor fundraising efforts as evidence that new methods must be explored to adjust the balance of campaign contribution power.