Federal Politics

Published — October 6, 2010 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Campaign finance reform advocates face long-term challenges

Introduction

The current political environment looks bleak for any congressional action soon on disclosure requirements to narrow the Citizens United ruling, efforts for more public financing of elections, and a fix for the out-of-date presidential public finance system.

That was the general consensus among speakers at a conference held this week by non-profit group Common Cause and its allies in the progressive government reform movement. The event emphasized long-term work more than short-term optimism,

Campaign finance reform activists have reason to be reeling of late.

First came the U.S. Supreme Court’s January ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which opened the doors for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money on independent campaign advertising. More recently, Senate Democrats failed for a second time — on a strictly party-line vote — to invoke cloture and end debate on the DISCLOSE Act, which would require corporations and special interests to disclose the donors that pay for their political ads. And, advocates fear, this Supreme Court may also strike down state and local campaign finance reform laws.

Speaker Arianna Huffington, the liberal-leaning website publisher, called changing the role of money in politics “the mother of all reforms” and endorsed full public financing of political campaigns. Others described such reforms as a long-term struggle that needs to use social media and coalition building to rally public support around the issue.

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21 and a veteran campaign finance reform activist, said that reformers currently operate in a “very hostile environment.” He expressed hope that the explosion of independent spending by outside groups who need not disclose their contributions would be the scandal that triggers a public groundswell. “You never know when the opportunity to win is going to call,” he said.

Mary Boyle, vice president for communications at Common Cause, told the Center that even though it sometimes feels like “pushing rocks up a hill,” a recent poll showed 70 percent support among Americans for reducing the influence of special interests in Congress.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.