Campaign Finance Reform Bill

August 8, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Further to the United States Senate Actions Chronicle, there were more relevant bills proposed by the Senate Democrats in the past month – July 2010.

Campaign Finance Reform: The bill aimed at the election campaign’s fundamental problem – the special interests influence undermining democracy.

Evidently, it did not survive the Republican members opposition.

Although, the House passed the legislation, it failed in the Senate by three votes short of 60 votes required to eliminate Republican filibuster against the Disclose Act and various important components protecting the democratic sanctity.

The Democrats introduced the bill primarily to offset the negative effects from the Supreme Court’s decision granting unlimited access to the corporations, unions and other interests through campaign contributions, political ads and advocacy for or against any political candidate ahead of the election.

However, there was an exception to the Supreme Court’s rule that permitted Congress to legislate the interest groups’ political rhetoric via disclaimer and disclosure requirements.

Democrats precisely drafted the legislation to prohibit overseas corporations, federal contractors and tax payer bailed out businesses from the sponsorship.

At the same time, the bill enforced the disclaimer and disclosure requirement on the rest with the respective organizations’ chief executive or union leader’s personal appearance and endorsement message in the political ad.

Similar criteria apply to the nexus group representing the corporations, trade unions…to identify the top donors in the political ad.

Additionally, the corporations and advocacy groups are expected to provide campaign contribution details exceeding $1,000 in their political expenditure accounts.

The purpose behind this legislation is to enable transparency for free and fair elections by limiting the powerful organizations from depriving the electorates’ voice being heard in a democracy.

Not surprisingly, the business groups had expressed their grievances claiming the legislative act violated the free speech right and reportedly highlighted on the unions not being subject to the same conditions.

This issue could be addressed with a clear emphasis on the bill to affect all participants in the political campaign including the non-profit organizations with a political agenda regardless of stature.

Up until now, the legislation passage is entirely dependent on the democrats and isolated Republican member votes viz. Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, in all major issues.

The Republican opposition has been driven by the special interests controlling the electoral and legislative process.

Now, the Republican members voting against the campaign finance reform prove their priority to the business groups over their constituents and the American electorate in the nation.

In return, the business groups have pledged extraordinary support and financial backing to the Republican candidates thwarting the democrats’ effort to represent the American people and the nation at large.

Therefore, the public demand across the political spectrum is imperative to revive the bill and restore democracy upon the Congress members’ return from August recess.

Any resistance to the bill will indicate the political party and the member’s self-interest against national interest.

Rest assured, the Democrats bill on the campaign finance reform is a phenomenal step towards fixing the broken political system in Washington.

People have the power to bring about the long overdue change in the political sphere.

It’s possible by electing the legislators demonstrating their commitment to work for the people and the democrats are diligently performing their constitutional duties in improving American lives.

Please send your affordable / generous contributions to DCCC, DSCC, DNC and DGA in getting the doers i.e. the democrats elected overwhelmingly to the House, the Senate and State Governors in November 2010.

It might be a great challenge to compete with the corporations, but the will of the people cannot be deterred by the forces against them as established in 2008 elections.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

P.S.: Please send your contributions to the following address or visit their websites.

DNC – Democratic National Committee –
Attn: Governor Tim Kaine
430 South Capitol Street SE,
Washington, D.C., 20003

DCCC – Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Attn: Speaker Nancy Pelosi
430 South Capitol Street S.E.
Washington, D.C., 20003

DSCC – Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Attn: State Senator (?)
120 Maryland Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002.

DGA – Democratic Governors Association –
1401 K Street, NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005


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