News Release

Campaign Finance Reform?

NANCY SNOW
Executive director of Common Cause in New Hampshire and assistant professor of political science at New England College, Snow was set to attend the meeting that got underway this morning in Claremont between Bill Bradley and John McCain. (Claremont is the site of the handshake between President Clinton and then-Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1995, when they agreed to work for campaign finance reform.) She said: “Bradley and McCain are both going after the independent voter. In our primary, independents can vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary… In the current system, ordinary citizens are reduced to whispering while large corporations have megaphones. The First Amendment problem can be overcome since limits on campaign spending are voluntary.” [Snow’s question, about how many of her students see Bradley and McCain as grandstanding, was carried live by CNN at 11:45 this morning.] More Information

ANNE CAMPBELL
Campaign manager for Money Watch 2000 (a project of Iowa Citizen Action Network Education Foundation and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance), which works to increase public dialogue about the need for comprehensive campaign finance reform, Campbell was scheduled to be at the meeting in Claremont. She said: “It’s great that McCain and Bradley are pushing for this initiative to eliminate ‘soft money,’ but they both need to go further… The $60 million that George W. Bush has raised is hard money and would not be affected.”
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ELLEN MILLER
Executive director of Public Campaign, Miller said: “It’s important to recognize that campaign finance reform is much broader than just a ‘soft money’ ban… Even if soft money was banned, there would still be hundreds of millions in private dollars determining who runs for office, effectively who wins and what interests they protect after election day. Two-thirds of Americans — of all political persuasions — favor a full public financing system along with a soft money ban.” Public Campaign examines how money in politics explains much of our political system. On trade, while most Americans are opposed to the current policies, most contributors back those policies; all the major candidates mirror the latter, not the former.
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PETER EISNER
Managing director of the Center for Public Integrity, Eisner said: “While McCain says that he advocates campaign finance reform, a juxtaposition of his work on the commerce committee and the then-pending acquisition of Media One by AT&T shows that he is not immune to questions about corporate influence. Within weeks after action which all but ensured AT&T’s success, he received contributions of $10,000 from employees (and their spouses) of the telecommunications giant. McCain may say there was no quid pro quo, but AT&T — one of his largest career patrons — certainly benefited from his actions.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020