Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Help Bring Ethical Reform to Democratic Campaigns for Congress

Susan, Alison and I signed the open letter at Stop Fake Reform in an effort to get the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to embrace President Barack Obama's ban on accepting money from PACs and lobbyists all year long, not just on the day of one particular event. You, too, can sign the letter...

We read that you have chosen to accept President Obama's ban on fundraising from PACs and lobbyists, but only for June 18 – the day he headlines a fundraiser for you.

This isn’t just hypocritical – it defies common sense that you'd think the public would believe this was a principled stand against special-interest influence.

For 364 days a year, your rules would allow members of Congress to leave a hearing about regulating Wall Street and then walk straight to the DSCC and DCCC offices to “dial for dollars” from Wall Street lobbyists who want more bailout money and less accountability to taxpayers. Most Americans would find that conflict of interest repulsive.

We call on you to ban PAC and lobbyist contributions 365 days a year, just as President Obama did.

This is actually the least you could do to take on special-interest influence.

Will the DSCC and DCCC reject donations from executives of bailout recipients such as AIG, the way you did for Enron? Will you require candidates you support to publicly endorse the real solution to special-interest influence: public funding of congressional elections?

The public is tired of political gamesmanship. Please recognize that your “one day of reform” is absurd on its face and, if left standing, an embarrassment to your organizations. We urge you to announce a 365-day ban of PAC and lobbyist contributions – at a minimum.

This idea comes from Lawrence Lessig's new project Change Congress and has gotten quite a bit of press coverage already:

NEW YORK TIMES: Activists Urge Top Democratic Groups to Ban Lobby, PAC Donations

HUFF POST: Progressives Call Out Dems' "Hypocritical" Fundraising

POLITICO: Activists, bloggers rip DCCC, DSCC

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Dem Groups Urged to Ban Lobby Donors

WASHINGTON POST: To Lure Obama, Fundraisers Briefly Ban Contributions

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