I received an e-mail today asking me to tell my representatives to support the Fair Elections Now Act introduced by Assistant Senate Majority Leader, Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL.
In this letter, it stated,
The Fair Elections Now Act will restore public confidence in the election process by allowing qualified candidates to receive campaign funds from the Senate Fair Elections Fund instead of asking for money from private interests. In return, participating candidates would voluntarily agree to limit their campaign spending to the amount allocated to them.
This voluntary alternative to privately financed campaigns will free candidates from the all-consuming money chase that taints public perceptions of elected officials. Candidates could instead devote their time and energy to talking with constituents about the issues that are important to them.
If this is voluntary, any candidate choosing to be limited to the amount allocated to them, will have a clear disadvantage to the candidates who are raising hundreds of millions of dollars on their own. The only advantage one may achieve by voluntarily receiving campaign funds from the Senate Fair Elections Fund, is the public perception that they will not be obligated to contributers after the election. Would that perception be enough to survive the publicity and advertising of a multi-million dollar campaign?
If the Fair Elections Now Act was mandatory for all candidates, it would be an incredible step toward repairing so much of what is wrong in Washington D.C.; If left as is, this act is just an empty gesture, a censure, of a system that should be impeached.