Saturday, October 13, 2007

Edwards Calls for Campaign Finance Reform

I watched a townhall meeting in Keene, New Hampshire on CSPAN where John Edwards outlined One Democracy Initiative that would return power in Washington to regular people and limit the influence of special interests. Edwards' plan was based on campaign finance reform, ending the power of lobbyisits, and making the voting process more secure.

The part that really caught my attention was his plan on campaign finance reform.

John Edwards believes elections should be about ideas rather than money. Few Americans can afford to make $4,600 contributions to gain access to presidential candidates, and the integrity of our campaign financing system depends upon smaller donors continuing to play an important role in the political process. Edwards' campaign is built upon the support of small donors, in fact, 93 percent of the campaign's donations come from donors contributing less than $100. As president, Edwards will create a new Grassroots Presidential Financing System to match small donations under $100 by eight to one, making two $100 donations as valuable to a campaign as a single $1,000 donation. He will also reduce the maximum contribution from $2,300 to $1,000 per person, to better reflect the incomes of most Americans. Edwards will create a system of full public financing for Congressional candidates and require corporations to disclose their political activity and spending.
It is great to see Edwards putting forth specifics on how he would change the game in Washington. Ending the power of big money in Washington and stopping the influence of lobbyists sounds good, but Edwards is showing exactly how he will accomplish this.

Edwards will be campaigning in 17 counties in Iowa next week. If you attend any events, make sure to ask him about campaign finance reform.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love it any time candidates call attention to this issue, and as an Edwards supporter I am particularly pleased.

Ran into a friend (Biden supporter, Edwards second choice) last night, who told me that one of her friends finally settled on Edwards because of the campaign finance issue.

I wish I could attend one of the Edwards events in western Iowa. He will be talking about other issues that are close to my heart as well, including Main Street economic development and country-of-origin labeling.

desmoinesdem

noneed4thneed said...

He will be in Waukee on the 16th at 6:45.

T.M. Lindsey said...

This was the same platform Edwards had during his 2004 bid. I'm glad Edwards is still calling attention to this issue. I wish all the candidates who keep saying we need to change the game in D.C. would speak out more on campaign finance reform.

I've grown skeptical the past few years about any tweaking of campaign finance that doesn't call for public campaign finance. My guess is that, like Feingold/McCain, Edwards' reform will be manipulated and new loop holes will be dicovered.

Biden is the only candidate calling for public campaign finance and has been doing so since 1974, when he first introduced a bill with Iowa's Sen. Dick Meyer.

I was hoping Edwards and/or Obama would take the next step, but figured the political repurcussions from the right would
keep them short of proposing the full monty.

Ben said...

And Senator Edwards gets around the First Amendment, how?

noneed4thneed said...

I believe he said the campaign finance program will be voluntary.

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