Reform advocates will conduct civil disobedience and risk arrest at the US Capitol rotunda today in Washington to protest the killing by Congress of the campaign finance reform bill, which the Senate filibustered last week.
The action is sponsored by the Democracy Brigade, which was formed by members of reform organizations who believe that the existing private-money system of campaign financing should be supplanted by one of complete public financing.
The maneuvering last week by Congress showed the difficulty in getting campaign finance reform enacted by the very same people who benefit from millions of dollars in "soft money" from interest groups–most of it coming from corporations and wealthy individuals. Proponents of finance reform say the current system corrupts the legislative process, while opponents–many of them Republicans but some also Democrats–argue that the legislation is a violation of free speech.
The killing of the bill provoked a public outcry, prompting some corporate executives to complain that they are often "shaken down" by the politicians and political parties, who make it clear that they will only have an ear for those who contribute to their campaigns.
- Ronnie Dugger, founder and co-chair of the Alliance for Democracy. Call: 781.894.1179 or E-mail Alliance for Democracy
- Randy Kehler, long time war tax resister, co-founder of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and co-founder of the Working Group on Electoral Democracy.