Federal Politics

Published — June 30, 2010 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

“Founders” rally for change in election finance

Introduction

Led by actors dressed as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross, two good-government groups today sought to draw attention to legislation that would grant public funding to candidates who promise to accept only small donations from supporters.

Members of Public Campaign and of Common Cause assembled the actors dressed in colonial garb to highlight what they called “dependence day” – the rush by lawmakers to raise money before the fundraising quarter ends at midnight on June 30. That deadline prompted 87 political fundraisers in Washington alone today, they said.

The groups back the proposed Fair Elections Now Act, which would build on legislation approved in the House last week to make it clear how much companies, unions and other groups spend on independent campaign ads made legal by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling .

The proposed bill already has bipartisan support from 156 House members, and is backed by 22 senators, according to Nick Nyhart, chief executive of Public Campaign. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. John Larson of Connecticut and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, however, has not been a priority for Congressional leadership; no committee hearings have even been scheduled in the House or Senate.

The parade of Founding Fathers and Betsy Ross stopped at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Podesta Group lobbying firm, and the Capitol Hill Club asking lobbyists, members of Congress and passers-by to support the legislation. It would grant public funding to candidates who agree to limit the size of the donations they accept, as long as they raise a certain level of donations from their local communities. The bill would provide a four-to-one match for each small donation.

The group was not granted entry to any of the offices it visited — except for a brief foray into the Podesta Group’s lobby — and tried to make its message heard on the streets outside.

Outside the Podesta Group, which counts BP as one of its most prominent clients, the actors declared Tony Podesta to be the “most powerful man in Washington,” to which one of the founding fathers lamented, “I used to be the most powerful man in Washington.”

The actor playing Thomas Jefferson declared, “230 years ago brave patriots across our 13 original colonies rose up to throw off the yoke of British tyranny. Today, however, we must throw off the yoke of British Petroleum — those other merchants of influence who have befouled our fair democracy.”

Outside the Capitol Hill Club, said to be the site of more than a dozen Republican fundraisers today, the actors swarmed Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi and Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, both Republicans, and asked them to support the bill.

Opponents of the Fair Elections Now Act, such as Sean Parnell of the Center for Competitive Politics, have denounced the measure as a “welfare for politicians program.”

Nick Nyhart, President and CEO of Public Campaign, explained the idea behind the event, telling the Center, “people know there is a crooked system in D.C. but they don’t know there’s a chance to change it.”

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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.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

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.