I am not usually given to hyperbole, but so much depends on a bill for campaign finance reform introduced by Senator Dick Durbin, Senator from Illinois, that I submit my case.
The bill is titled Fair Election Now and provides for the public financing of national political campaigns with matching financing by the government. Reflect on what this public financing bill would accomplish. Instead of corporate money buying special interest legislation, the public interest would be given primary consideration. Instead of a protected congressional incumbency that collects huge funds from Wall Street, drug companies, military contractors, etc., etc., political campaigns would become contests of ideas by challengers against incumbents. In short, the public interest, not special interests, would be served.
Can you hear it now from opponents to this bill? What! Waste public money on political campaigns? But the public financing of national campaigns would be the best investment that American taxpayers can make. The money that would be spent on public financing shrinks in relation to the huge amounts that special interests suck out of the public treasury. The return of public financing over the huge amounts of special interest spending would be a hundredfold. One case on point: the $160 billion cost overrun and seven year delay of the F-35 fighter. Defense contractors have gotten away with this boondoggle aided and abetted by Congressional members that gets huge contribution to their campaigns funds. Another particularly scurrilous example is the inability of Medicare to negotiate drug prices; a special interest bonus Congress gives to the drug industry.
The value of the Fair Election Now bill is best underscored by its opponents. Washington lobbyists are deadly afraid of a bill that undermines their power to spread money around and influence votes. The last thing that incumbents in Congress want are open elections with challengers that can hold them to account for their voting records. Americans, watch the progress - or lack thereof - of this campaign finance bill through Congress. Will the bill proceed through the legislative process or will it be sidetracked never to see the light of Day? Campaign finance reform is the core issue facing America today; any other type of reform or action that would benefit the majority of Americans depends on it. Regardless of what cause moves you to action, everything rests on campaign finance reform. The future of America hangs on this issue: mobilize yourself to support Durbin’s Fair Election Now bill.