In the wake of the horrible Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, Rep. John Larson of Connecticut has introduced a bill that would reform substantially the way members of Congress are elected. It's not perfect, but it's a big step. The Fair Elections Now Act, H.R. 1826, would create partial public funding for Congressional races, with a 4-1 match for contributions of $100 or less. The money would come from a small fee on goverment contractors.
There are now more than 130 co-sponsors in the House, and they're pusing for a floor vote. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn't decided whether to allow the bill to come to the floor.
The politics of that are crazy. If the Democrats want to keep control of the House, they need to have something to campaign on this fall. During the presidential campaign, the party promise reform -- but so far, other than a mild health care bill, there's no real reform on the table.
"If Democrats don't have a real reform agenda that includes election reform -- and that shows the party wants to change how business is done in Washington -- we could be in big trouble in the fall," Steve Hildebrand, a former Obama strategist who is helping the Fair Elections Now Act folks, told me.
So what's up. Nancy? Why not at least give the bill a chance.
Most Commented On
- If these firms are seeing - December 20, 2013
- What agreement? - December 20, 2013
- Progressive Is The New Reactionary - December 20, 2013
- The reason Ed Lee's trying to look like he's doing something - December 20, 2013
- Twitter Is In SF - December 20, 2013
- Ed Lee's at 51%, narrowly leads Ammiano in matchup - December 20, 2013
- Mayor Lee Played This Well - December 20, 2013
- The comments are skewed - December 20, 2013
- How does demanding money from people work out for you? - December 20, 2013
- So it's not people - December 20, 2013