In support of Public Campaign, I submitted variants of the following letter to my representative to build momentum toward public financing of federal campaigns as a follow-on to the ethics reforms before Congress as part of the 100 Hours Agenda.
Dear Congressman Mark Kirk:
Dear Senator Barack Obama:
Dear Senator Dick Durbin:
I am encouraged to observe Congress make ethics reform a high priority in its new session. I applaud efforts to decrease the insidious influence of lobbyists on lawmakers by banning lobbyist-funded gifts, travel, and meals.
However, I implore you to look beyond the egregious and obvious loci of purchased influence to address the underlying, systemic distortion of our political system by monied interests inherent in the political campaign finance system as it currently exists. As I’ve written to you before, I believe that 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.
Currently, seven states and two municipalities have “Clean Election” public financing laws. Clean Elections allows campaigns to focus on the issues voters care about, not how much money a given candidate can raise. Clean Elections systems provide full public funding to candidates who qualify and agree to forgo private contributions and abide by spending limits.
I hope you will take a leadership role in the 110th Congress to make ethics reform real and substantive by implementing Clean Elections campaign reform. Your support of publicly financed elections for all federal races is critical to restore public trust in government and ensure the long-term health of our nation.