Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL), alongside sponsor Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Fair Elections Now Act (link to release). Modeled on the successful Clean Elections systems in Maine, Arizona, and North Carolina, the bill will provide full public financing for qualified congressional candidates. Joining Sens. Durbin and Specter, Representatives John Tierney (D-MA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), and Todd Platts (R-PA) introduced companion legislation, the Clean Money Clean Elections Act in the House of Representatives.
In a strong show of bipartisan support behind winning this important reform, Sens. Durbin (D-IL) and Specter (R-PA) and Reps. Tierney (D-MA), Grijalva (D-AZ), and Platts (R-PA) have taken a huge step forward in bringing Clean Elections to both chambers of Congress. If you haven't already, please sign on as a citizen co-sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act today!
Victory in New Jersey
Three districts in New Jersey will have Clean Elections again in 2007. The New Jersey Senate voted 27-3 last week to renew the state's Clean Elections pilot project for another year. It's been a tough fight to win this one, with many delays in the Senate, but we're happy to see Clean Elections win out yet again. The bill, which easily passed in the state Assembly, will next go to Governor John Corzine (D-NJ), who is expected to sign it when it reaches his desk.
Meanwhile, Maryland is in the crucial final days of its campaign to become the eighth Clean Elections state in the country!
Clean Elections has garnered strong support in the state Assembly, but the Senate is proving a tougher fight. Yesterday, a coalition of organizations held a press conference in response to new transcripts released by the FBI on an indicted former Senator. Read the press release. If you live in Maryland, or know someone who does, be sure and click here to sign on in support of Clean Elections for the state, and find out about volunteer opportunities as we head into the homestretch of this exciting campaign!
Are Corruption Investigators Being Fired?
We've been following the story of the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys many involved in corruption probes of public officials that has drawn fire to White House aides, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, and several legislators. These attorneys were either fired while involved in investigations of Republican corruption, or were being pressured to take up cases against Democratic lawmakers. Documents continue to be released showing a strategy hatched between White House officials and the Department of Justice to, in their words, "push out" attorneys who "chafed with administration priorities" and replace them with party loyalists and friends of the administration.
We' re concerned because U.S. Attorneys work to hold our lawmakers accountable and should not be asked to compromise their investigations to comply with the whims of political operators. We're asking Congress to work to insulate U.S. Attorneys from politically-motivated firings. Click here to take part in this campaign. From the Paid For By...? Blog: As always there is a lot going on in the world of money in politics scandals and Clean Elections. This is what we've been talking about recently:
1. There has been quite a bit of conversation on political blogs lately about public financing. We weighed in on what everyone had to say.
2. Were eight U.S. attorneys fired for purely political reasons? We've been following this story because of its possible connection to ongoing corruption investigations.
3. Bicameral, Bipartisan Introduction - oh my! Clean Elections bills were introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate Tuesday--click here to read all about it.
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