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NEWS
By Edward Roeder | October 23, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Consideration of campaign-finance reform is stymied because much of it begins with a false statement of the problem. This was so in the presidential debates.Moderator Jim Lehrer asked in the first debate: ''How do you avoid being influenced by people who contribute money and services to your campaign?'' Put that way, the question accepts the perspective of Washington players who see the problem as corruption, or the appearance of it.President Clinton's answer was to deny that money has influence: First come his positions, then the money.
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NEWS
August 16, 2012
It would help all of us average guys for someone to explain what politicians are allowed to do with campaign contributions ("Disclose, disclose, disclose," Aug. 13). One assumes they pay office expenses, salaries, rent, supplies, etc., but are they allowed to buy personal items, clothes worn on the job, cars that they use for the job, rent for a house in Annapolis, etc.? Also, what regulatory body ensures they do not abuse any rules? And the accounting of such? Is that information made public?
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NEWS
September 17, 1999
THE U.S. Senate seems intent on a replay of its disgraceful dodging on campaign finance reform. Political reality, the enduring power of money and manipulation of the rules by majority Republicans oppose a worthy effort by the House.The party in power always behaves as the GOP does now. A parallel can be found in Annapolis where Democrats rule and where the same sorts of opposition are presented to reformers: The majority knows it got there under the current rules and is loath to change them.
NEWS
August 20, 2010
Over and over again, we see that elections are ultimately not really about the issues or leadership qualities. They're about money. Whoever has the most money bribes, er, wins over the voters ("Ehrlich leads in donors; O'Malley leads in cash" and "Bernstein outpaces Jessamy in funds," Aug. 19). I suspect our nation's Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves. Mary Shaw, Philadelphia, PA
NEWS
By Bill Bradley | July 21, 1996
WASHINGTON -- We tend to think of democracy as a static thing -- we call it a ''form of government'' in school, or we say with pride, ''I live in a democracy.''But democracy is not a mountain or a machine; it's a living idea, an attitude of mind, a spiritual testament. It grows, as it grew with the nation and stretched across the seas through the influence of our example.The question becomes: Is our democracy responding, honestly and creatively, to the fears and the aspirations of most families?
NEWS
By John Brain | December 26, 1996
A PLETHORA OF political-contribution scandals has again pushed both parties to pledge reform.But no political system that runs on money is capable of reforming itself. One might as well ask an automobile to give up gasoline. Money in politics is not like a drug habit an addict can kick; it's food that politicians must eat or starve.Demanding that pols give up money makes no sense at all. What sort of people do we want running the country anyway? Do-gooders? Philanthropists? Saints? Come off it!
NEWS
December 7, 1996
THE RECENT DECISION by Baltimore County councilmen not to seek campaign contributions until comprehensive rezoning was completed reflects an admirable desire to avoid any hint of political impropriety.No law prohibits council members from accepting money from developers and others with an interest in rezoning, but they realized that people's faith in the process -- and in them -- could suffer if they did that.They showed sensitivity to growing unease about the role of money in politics. They wanted to be able to say, incontrovertibly, that no one bought their vote on these sensitive, financially loaded land-use issues.
NEWS
By Gwyneth K. Shaw and Gwyneth K. Shaw,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 9, 2005
WASHINGTON - Maryland Rep. Albert R. Wynn is bucking his party's leadership with campaign-finance legislation that would sharply boost the overall amount that individuals could give in political contributions. Wynn, a Prince George's County Democrat, is a primary author of the bill, which would increase the overall amount an individual could donate in each election - to as much as $1 million or more, from the current limit of $101,400. A committee in the Republican-controlled House approved the measure yesterday on a party-line vote.
NEWS
By George F. Will | April 13, 2001
WASHINGTON -- What is liberalism's appeal? Surely less its plausibility than the surprises it provides. Liberals constantly experience the excitement of the unexpected, the thrill of being startled by the unanticipated -- if only by them -- consequences of their actions. After Senate passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance bill became a foregone conclusion, the Washington Post, which adores the bill, carried this front page headline: "Campaign Bill Could Shift Power Away From Parties."
NEWS
By RICHARD REEVES | May 4, 1994
A fellow named Richard Fisher, identified as an ''investor,'' won the Democratic nomination for U.S. senator in Texas the other day. A former adviser to Ross Perot, Mr. Fisher may or may not be a Democrat, depending on whom you ask, but he is a model of the new, rich American politician. Whatever he actually believes, he stood on an appealing platform, piles of his own money -- $3.5 million of it.Another self-financed Texas statesman, Michael Huffington, moved to Santa Barbara two years ago and bought a congressional seat for $5 million; he is now in the process of putting up $10 million or $20 million to try to buy the Senate seat held by Dianne Feinstein.
NEWS
January 25, 2010
I f you thought there were lots of ads in the hotly contested 1st Congressional District race in 2008, you ain't seen nothing yet. The Supreme Court last week overturned a century of law and decades of its own precedents and concluded that corporations have the same rights of political speech as individuals when it comes to advocating for the victory or defeat of candidates. Critics of the decision - including President Obama - say the floodgates are now open for special interests to buy American elections.
NEWS
By Gwyneth K. Shaw and Gwyneth K. Shaw,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 9, 2005
WASHINGTON - Maryland Rep. Albert R. Wynn is bucking his party's leadership with campaign-finance legislation that would sharply boost the overall amount that individuals could give in political contributions. Wynn, a Prince George's County Democrat, is a primary author of the bill, which would increase the overall amount an individual could donate in each election - to as much as $1 million or more, from the current limit of $101,400. A committee in the Republican-controlled House approved the measure yesterday on a party-line vote.
NEWS
By Michael Tackett and Michael Tackett,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 3, 2003
WASHINGTON - Striking down key portions of a politically popular law, a three-judge panel ruled yesterday that a ban on "soft money" contributions from corporations and unions to political parties was unconstitutional, ensuring that the question of how federal campaigns are financed will have to be settled by the Supreme Court. After years of debate, Congress approved the landmark campaign finance law last year with the goal of limiting the corrupting influence of money in politics. The law - known by the names of its primary sponsors, Sens.
NEWS
February 26, 2002
For almost a decade, Congress has debated legislation to curtail sharply the millions in unregulated "soft money" that corporations, unions and other interest groups shower on our political parties. The House has passed such bills three times, most recently on an impressive 240-189 vote Feb. 14. The Senate approved a very similar bill 59-41 last April. The issue has been debated to death. The time for procedural wrangling, killer amendments and filibusters has long passed. It's time for the Senate to take up the reform bill, debate it one last time and, finally, vote to curb the corrupting influence of soft money.
NEWS
By George F. Will | April 13, 2001
WASHINGTON -- What is liberalism's appeal? Surely less its plausibility than the surprises it provides. Liberals constantly experience the excitement of the unexpected, the thrill of being startled by the unanticipated -- if only by them -- consequences of their actions. After Senate passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance bill became a foregone conclusion, the Washington Post, which adores the bill, carried this front page headline: "Campaign Bill Could Shift Power Away From Parties."
NEWS
By Paul West and Paul West,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 19, 2001
WASHINGTON -- It is perhaps the best chance in a generation to reduce the influence of big money in politics. Today, the Senate begins its first serious campaign-finance debate in nearly a decade. Senators in both parties said there is a good prospect that some measure labeled "reform" will eventually win approval. "A lot of people think we're going to pass something," said Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the driving force for change. Far from clear, however, is what a Senate-passed measure might look like, how far it would go to alter the way campaigns are funded and whether it could significantly slow the flow of unlimited money into elections.
NEWS
October 15, 1999
With total fund raising for the 2000 election expected to top $3 billion, the Senate began consideration yesterday of a new proposal to overhaul the nation's campaign finance system. The House of Representatives recently approved a measure designed to curb the influence of big money in politics. And political reform is becoming a hot issue in the presidential campaign trail.Throughout the decade of the '90s, campaign finance has been fought over in Washington almost every year. But the result has been a legislative stalemate and widespread confusion over the terms of the debate.
NEWS
By WILLIAM BROCK | August 31, 1995
The rash of stories on third parties and independent candidates is a bit much. I know the frustration with our two parties is real and deeply rooted, but it is not without historic precedent.When I was elected national chairman of the Republican Party early in 1977, there were many who questioned my sanity for boarding a sinking ship. We had been decimated in two consecutive election by disgust with Watergate and Vietnam. My predecessor, Many Louise Smith, answered those who were demanding that the party change its name.
NEWS
By Richard Reeves | December 21, 1999
WASHINGTON -- At the heart of American self-perception is the faith that one man can make a difference. Like those faces carved into Mount Rushmore, our history is more often than not told as stories of individual heroes.Paul Revere. George Washington. Abraham Lincoln. Robert E. Lee. Thomas Edison. Douglas MacArthur. There are exceptions, of course, including Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright. And now there is John McCain and Bill Bradley.The Republican and the Democratic underdog presidential candidates have made a show of opposing the "soft" money that is suffocating American politics.
NEWS
October 15, 1999
With total fund raising for the 2000 election expected to top $3 billion, the Senate began consideration yesterday of a new proposal to overhaul the nation's campaign finance system. The House of Representatives recently approved a measure designed to curb the influence of big money in politics. And political reform is becoming a hot issue in the presidential campaign trail.Throughout the decade of the '90s, campaign finance has been fought over in Washington almost every year. But the result has been a legislative stalemate and widespread confusion over the terms of the debate.
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