Vote shows the need to transform our current campaign finance system
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of Congress who noted "no" on health care reform legislation late Saturday night have received $2.3 million more in campaign donations from health insurance interests than those who voted in favor of the legislation to overhaul of the nation's health care system, according to analysis released by a coalition of campaign reform groups.
"The health care debate shows that our campaign finance system is as much in crisis as our health care system," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund, the watchdog group that conducted the analysis for the coalition. "As measured in campaign donations, it clearly pays to be against reform and with the health insurance interests."
The health insurance industry donated $12.5 million to the campaigns and leadership PACs of 215 members of Congress who voted against the House health care legislation this weekend. Members voting against the legislation received, on average, 24 percent more in campaign money than those who voted yes, according to analysis of campaign contribution data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
"Members of Congress are, by and large, good people caught in a bad system," said Donnelly. "With so much time dedicated to fundraising and with insurance and other special interests providing the cash, our elected officials are placed in an untenable situation. It's time to change how we pay for campaigns and pass the Fair Elections Now Act."
The Fair Elections Now Act (S.752, H.R.1826) provides qualified congressional candidates public financing once they demonstrate broad public support by raising a large number of small donations. Once in office, candidates would be freed from the influence of special interest campaign contributions.
The House legislation, which was introduced by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), has 114 additional cosponsors, more than half of the 218 lawmakers needed to pass the legislation. The Senate companion bill was introduced by Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
The coalition includes Common Cause, Democracy Matters, Public Campaign Action Fund, and Public Citizen. Three-dozen additional organizations have endorsed the Fair Elections Now Act. For more information about the bill and the coalition, visit www.fairelectionsnow.org.
SOURCE Public Campaign Action Fund
|SOURCE Public Campaign Action Fund|
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