FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
CONTACT: Seth Amgott or Susan Quatrone, (202) 736-5770.
STATEMENT BY COMMON CAUSE PRESIDENT SCOTT HARSHBARGER ON MCCAIN-FEINGOLD VICTORY IN SENATE
John Gardner once wrote that by limiting the amount of political contributions, Congress can "dispel the public's widely held suspicion that the power of money is an element in our public process that the law fears to touch."
I can tell you today, the 107th Congress had no such fear.
Americans have won an historic victory to help bring our government back to the people. After years of debate, the Senate has voted resoundingly, 60-40, to end the most corrupting part of our system, and it comes at a very appropriate moment. As our armies defend democracy overseas, Congress has taken a major step to protect it at home.
I congratulate the courageous authors of the legislation and all those in Congress who supported the measure and the tens of thousands of Americans who called and wrote letters and emails to help make this happen. This victory belongs to them and to the Americans for Reform coalition - the AARP and forty other business and religious and environmental groups.
At a stroke of the pen, President Bush will now end the unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and the wealthy. He too deserves congratulations for recognizing that the system needs fixing.
The work of reform is not finished. Common Cause works for public financing in the states for the same reason we fought soft money in Washington - to open up the system to more participation, to make parties and interest groups rely more on people and ideas, and less on dollars, to win votes and elections. You will hear more from us in coming days about the cost of television time, and about the FEC's failure to enforce current campaign law. We will watchdog other agencies' performance. We will work with Senator McCain and the White House to encourage every American to do national service.
But today is a day to thank Congress for its service, and celebrate our democracy. I want to note my respect for the strongly held beliefs and great skills of a worthy adversary, Senator McConnell, and also Dennis Hastert, who dealt fairly in the February vote.
And I want to congratulate and thank some American heroes: Thank you John McCain and Russ Feingold. Thank you Chris Shays and Marty Meehan. And thank you Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt for your commitment to passing this legislation.
For more information, please call the Common Cause Press Office at (202) 736-5770.
Editor's note: Sure, they passed it and signed it. It won't affect them in the least. Common cause can continue in its delusion that we have democracy unless someone wants to share with them what the reality is. If you did not read the previous article, do so now.