• Bag of Money

    The U.S. House of Representatives voted this week to do away with one of the most effective deterrents to campaign finance corruption our nation has relied on since the Watergate scandal of the 1970s.

  • The League of Women Voters and other concerned organizations oppose H.R. 3463, legislation that would repeal the presidential public financing system AND terminate the Election Assistance Commission.

  • The League and coalition groups sent a letter to the House of Representatives urging them to oppose an amendment that would gut the Office of Congressional Ethics.

  • The League and coalition partners sent a letter to the leadership of the House Ethics committee urging the committee to appoint outside counsel in the investigation into ethics violations by Representative Maxine Waters.

  • But Public Financing of Elections Survives

    Washington, DC – The League of Women Voters today expressed profound disappointment at the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McComish v. Bennett.

    “Unfortunately today, we see another poorly reasoned decision by the Supreme Court on campaign finance, one that is untethered to the Constitution,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters.  “While the McComish decision is another blow by this Court against clean elections, public financing itself has not been put in jeopardy.”

    The League alongside seven other public interest groups filed an amicus brief with the U.S Supreme Court earlier this year.  The amicus based its arguments primarily on the legal principles set forth in Buckley v. Valeo, the decades-old precedent upholding campaign finance reform efforts.  According to the brief, “the legal principles set forth in Buckley in its review of the presidential system govern this Court’s review of the challenged provisions and compel the conclusion that the trigger provisions of Arizona’s Citizens’ Clean Elections Act (“Act”) are constitutional.”

    “The League believes in the need for campaign finance reform and has fought for decades in support of public financing systems,” concluded MacNamara.  “The Court’s watering down of protections against corruption in our elections  is profoundly disappointing.  We will continue to fight for public financing of elections because it protects the very integrity of our democratic form of government.”

    The full text of the League’s amicus brief in this case can be found here.

     

    The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages.

    Contact: Kelly Ceballos
    202-263-1331
    kceballos@lwv.org
  • The League and coalition partners sent a letter to the leadership of the House Committee on Ethics expressing concern regarding the length of time it has taken to investigate possible ethics violations by Representative Maxine Waters.

  • League Expresses Concern Over Stalled Ethics Investigation The League and coalition partners sent a letter to the leadership of the House Committee on Ethics asking when the inquiry into possible ethics violations by Representative Maxine Waters will be resumed and completed.

  • League President, Elisabeth MacNamara, sent a letter to Senators urging them to oppose S. 194 and any other moves to eliminate the public financing system for presidential elections.

  • The League and coalition partners sent a letter to Senators urging them to oppose legislation to repeal presidential public financing and support modernization legislation instead.

  • “American people deserve better,” says League of Women Voters

    Washington, DC -- The League of Women Voters today urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose the move expected this week to eliminate the public financing system for presidential elections.

    Pointing to the lack of hearings or other committee action on the legislation to repeal the presidential system, Elisabeth MacNamara, president of the nonpartisan citizens’ organization said, “The rush to the floor, without following the normal procedures of the House, is deeply disturbing. The American people deserve better than this.”

    The League also called attention to the relatively small cost of the public financing system for both the primary and general elections for president. “Certainly the elimination of the system cannot be seen as a meaningful reduction in federal spending or the debt,” according to MacNamara.

    MacNamara went on to say that the, “presidential public financing for both primary and general election campaigns has served America well since 1976. It has not only allowed candidates to raise the funds needed to wage competitive campaigns, it has substantially reduced corruption and the appearance of corruption in the executive branch over that time period. It has given average citizens and small donors a critically important role to play in funding presidential campaigns and provided more meaningful choices to voters. And it has done all of this at remarkably small cost.”

    “The presidential public financing system needs to be repaired, not repealed, in order to continue serving the interests of the American people and protecting against corruption. The system only began to decline when campaign costs outstripped the public financing provided to participating candidates and frontloading changes in the presidential nominating process occurred. A modernized system would provide presidential candidates with a viable alternative to finance their campaigns focused on average citizens and small donors, as opposed to being dependent on big donors, bundlers, lobbyists, and corporate and other outside spenders.”

    “The issues surrounding the funding of presidential campaigns deserve careful consideration. They should be the subject of hearings and thoughtful deliberation.

    “The health and integrity of our democracy demand more responsible action from the House of Representatives,” she concluded.

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    The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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