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Fair Elections Now

January 21, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The campaign finance reform group Public Campaign is pushing the Fair Elections Now Act as the legislative solution to today’s Supreme Court ruling to let corporations and other special interests spend as much money as they want on political ads:

The public has lost confidence in Congress’s ability to pass laws in the public interest and this decision could make an untenable situation worse. Congress should respond forcefully by passing the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752, H.R. 1826), which expands the importance of the public’s voice in politics.

Support for the Fair Elections legislation in Congress is at an all time high. The bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, sponsored by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), has bipartisan and cross-caucus support of 124 co-sponsors. The Fair Elections Now Act “would give our members the time they deserve to focus on the issues and their constituents, instead of dialing for dollars,” Rep. Larson said at a Center for American Progress panel on the legislation in December. “We see a great opportunity to pass this bill, and we see Citizens United as part of that backdrop.” Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is the lead sponsor of the Senate companion legislation.

The Fair Elections Now Act and similar programs in the states have repeatedly passed constitutional muster and would allow members of Congress to opt-out of the demoralizing and debilitating chase for big campaign cash.
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  • trlloyd 02/01/2010 8:04am

    How can we have a bill in the house of Rep and have the Supreme court try and counter what the house is doing to the Fair Elections.
    In last week’s State of the Union address, President Obama said:
    “The Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections …and I urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps correct some of these problems.”

    Congress appears poised to take on this issue. Lawmakers will hold three hearings on the court decision this week. But we can’t sit back and wait for congressional action. We must press our elected leaders to move quickly to make sure the Fair Elections Now Act is part of any Citizens United response package.

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