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U.S. House Votes to End Watergate-Era Finance System

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 07:44 PM
Original message
U.S. House Votes to End Watergate-Era Finance System
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Republican-controlled U.S. House voted to eliminate public financing of presidential campaigns almost four decades after the Watergate scandal that led to its adoption.

Todays 239-160 vote was primarily along party lines. Republicans said the U.S. cant afford the program in an era of trillion-dollar budget deficits. The legislation would save $617 million over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

<...>

Under the financing program, the government matches the first $250 of each individual contribution for presidential candidates who are willing to limit their spending in primaries. In the general election, the major-party nominees receive a lump sum if they agree to forgo private fundraising except to cover legal and accounting costs.

<...>

The program was enacted in 1974 after President Richard Nixon resigned from office amid revelations about his role in covering up the break-in of Democratic political offices at Washingtons Watergate Hotel. During probes of the break-in, reports surfaced of secret slush funds and illegal activities funded by some of the unregulated private donations to Nixons 1972 re-election campaign. That spurred Congress to create the public financing system.



Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-01-26/u-s-house-votes-to-end-watergate-era-finance-system.html
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Public financing of elections is the cure for Citizens United
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 07:52 PM
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2. Even if it gets blocked, they can refuse to fund it
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thank goodness they're working on creating jobs!
Edited on Wed Jan-26-11 08:11 PM by AlbertCat
This should really really help!
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 08:19 PM
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4. Headline obscures story.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 08:29 PM
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5. In a way, Obama sort of accelerated its demise
In 2000, Bush Jr. was the first candidate under this system to refuse the primary season money. In 2008, Obama was the first to not take the money for the general election. McCain did take the money and that was a bad move for him. In 2012, neither party was going to take the money for the general election anyway, and the heavyweight candidates were likely going to decline the primary season money too.

Don't get me wrong, THIS WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO for Obama to win the election, but it also set the forces in motion that accelerated the system's demise.
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Swede Atlanta Donating Member (906 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. We need major electoral reform but.......
It would take a Constitutional amendment to achieve it.

We need to remove contributions to political campaigns as "political speech" at least as it relates to anything other than a human being, i.e. Citizen's United needs to be quashed.

We should have limits on individual contributions and those should be focused on primaries. We should have public funding of general elections with each side getting equal money. Let them argue it out on the basis of issues and not money.

But in this country the monied interests own Congress and now the Supreme Court. We are doomed unless the sheeple wake up and realize we are in dire straights.
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