Monday, September 12, 2005

McCain and Feingold on Leadership PAC Loophole in Appropriations Bill

Senators John McCain and Russell Feingold, the chief Senate architects of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, wrote a letter to their colleagues today regarding a loophole in an umpcoing appropriations bill. The loophole would allow leadership PACs - those political action committees that are associated with a federal officeholder - to make unlimited contributions to political parties, who in turn could kick the money back to the officeholder.

Not only would the loophole allow federal candidates to evade federal contribution limits, but it would only allow those candidates who were already in office to do so - an incumbent protection plan, pure and simple. No wonder they're trying to bury it in an appropriations bill . . . these guys may be dumb, but they're not stupid.

Even without politicians trying to sneak loopholes into the law in the dead of night, our country's campaign finance laws still grant the wealthy few greater power over our elections and government than the rest of us. One wealthy person alone can contribute more than $100,000 each election cycle to federal candidates and committees.

Until we lower limits to a level within reach of regular Americans, efforts like today's letter from Senators Feingold and McCain still won't be enough to make sure all Americans get their fair say at the polls.

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