In support of Fair Elections Action Week, sponsored by a coalition of campaign reform organizations including Public Campaign, I signed the Fair Elections Now petition, & contacted my U.S. House Representative Mark Kirk, encouraging him to cosponsor the Fair Elections Now Act.

Dear Representative Kirk:

I understand that Representative John Larson will soon introduce to the House the Fair Elections Now Act, a voluntary public financing bill modeled on Illinois Senator Richard Durbin’s Senate legislation of the same name. I ask that you join with your fellow Illinois congressman in supporting campaign finance reform by accepting Representative Larson’s invitation to cosponsor this bill.

If passed, the Fair Elections Now Act would provide voluntary public funding for congressional campaigns based on the “Clean Elections” model adopted for state elections in Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Vermont, and a growing number of municipalities. Clean Elections systems provide full public funding, including capped matching funds against any privately financed candidates, to qualified candidates with sufficient grass-roots support who agree to forgo private contributions and abide by spending limits.

Such campaign finance reform promises to do much more to clean up the “culture of corruption” in Congress than the modest ethics reforms Congress passed last year in the wake of the Abramoff & Delay scandals. Clean Elections laws address the underlying, systemic distortion of our political system by monied interests that is inherent in the campaign finance system as it currently exists. The corrosive influence of large political donations undermines the integrity of the “one person, one vote” principle upon which our republic is founded. It amplifies the agenda of the rich and of corporate interests at the expense of the common good, as the lobbying scandals that brought down Abramoff & Delay clearly showed, and a review of much legislation, especially our national energy policy, sadly proves out.

Clean Elections allows campaigns to focus on the issues voters care about, not how much money a given candidate can raise. It frees candidates once elected from being beholden to the interests of those who bankrolled their campaigns so that they may act in the public interest. It allows them to focus while in office on the issues facing the people rather than on the next cycle of fundraising for reelection.

Thank you for advancing meaningful campaign finance reform by cosponsoring the Fair Elections Now Act.