Occupy Chicago issues a statement of conditional support for the Fair Elections Now Act. The core of the act is as follows:
Fair Elections Now Act:
Does not compel anyone to not take unlimited money, but helps to level the playing field
Candidates can choose to run a 'small' campaign. They must only accept donations < $100 to qualify. House must collect 1,500 contributions and raise $50,000
House candidates receive $90,000 initially, Senate candidates receive $125,000,000 plus $250,000 per district in their state.
For all small donations, candidates would receive $5 for every $1 they raise.
Total fund available is only 3x the initial allocation
Joint fundraising between candidates and parties is illegal.
Reductions in ad buying rates, media vouchers, etc.
If fully implemented, would cost $700-$800 million a year
Would be paid for by taxes on large government contractors.
More details can be found here:
The conditional statement of support adds two qualifiers:
We support this bill, but do not believe that it comes close to addressing the fundamental problem destroying the core of America: money in politics. This is the first step in the right direction on a long journey.
We believe that the only qualifier for being eligable for public funding should be how many donors/supporters you have, not how much money you have raised. This unfairly skews the program towards those who have more affluent donors.
Our support of this bill is conditional upon this change being made, and upon a call by all those lawmakers voting in support of the bill for further steps upon the passage of this bill into law.
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The House bill is 45 pages long and the Senate bill is 53 pages long.
I have found nothing on the Fair Elections Now.org site that indicates that either of these bills are expected to be brought to a vote any time soon.
The proposals to the GA are often quite verbose with information that I think should be relegated to a preamble.
I think this proposal can be distilled to:
Occupy Chicago conditionally supports the version of the Fair Elections Now Act that was referred to each Congressional body's committee.
Specifically, Occupy Chicago supports the version of H.R. 1404, as it was referred to the House Committee on House Administration on April 6, 2011, and the version of S. 750, as it was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights on April 12, 2011. These versions contain no amendments.
Occupy Chicago supports this bill, but stresses that the bill does not come close to addressing the fundamental problem destroying the core of America: money in politics.
Occupy Chicago's statement of support is conditional upon the Act being amended so that a candidate is eligible for the funding provided in this Act based solely on the number of donors and supporters of the candidate. The eligibility requirement for the candidate to have raised a specific amount of money must be struck. Without these changes, the provisions of the Act unfairly skew the program toward those who have more affluent donors.
Condition #2 is meaningless without further details.
With this change in wording, I am in support of this resolution.
If the proposer accepts this redraft of the proposal, the GA should be given an additional few days to familiarize themselves with the revised proposal. As I wrote, these bills are NOT expected to be called out of committee anytime soon.
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