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Action Alert: Hearing on Fair Elections bill in U.S. House this Thursday

By Craig Salins  Posted by Craig Salins (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Next Thursday, July 30th, a hearing will be held in the U.S. House Administration Committee on the Fair Elections Now Act, HR 1826, public financing for campaigns for the Congress.

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Info on House Administration Committee, here: http://cha.house.gov/committee_membership.aspx

Info on the Fair Elections Now Act, on the WPC website here: www.washclean.org/bill-in-congress.htm

Now is the time to bring increased attention to the need for fundamental change in campaign finance law.

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Public financing of campaigns is essential to see real progress on many issues of concern to ordinary Americans - to change the source of money in politics, so that Main Street voters have the same access to lawmakers as special interest lobbyists, and so that our elected representatives spend their time on solving America's problems rather than romancing big donors.

Here is what to do:

1. Contact your elected representatives - again! - and urge them to co-sponsor the Fair Elections Now Act (FENA) in both the Senate and the House.

2. Ask organizations you know to adopt a resolution in support of FENA, and to send a letter to our lawmakers urging their support and co-sponsorship of the FENA bills.

We need to mobilize civic organizations, church and faith social action committees, unions, neighborhood groups, and special-issue groups who cannot get traction on their concerns because of the power of big money lobbyists blocking progress in Congress.

3. Ask organizations to invite a WPC speaker to talk about this issue and the need for public financing of campaigns [if you live in Washington State]

Visit the WPC website - Resources page, section on "National - Fair Elections Now Act" - to see a Toolkit of helpful information you can download or link to. You will find summaries of the FENA bill, a generic resolution of support for organizations to consider, a "Dear Colleague" letter from House sponsors of the FENA bill to all members of the House, and a recent national poll that shows overwhelming voter support for campaign finance reform, specifically public financing of campaigns in Congress.

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Here is the link on our website: www.washclean.org/download.htm#feds

final important note:

nly a robust grassroots citizen movement will bring the change we seek. It may need to begin at the local level - cities and counties - which is why our success in passing the Local Option bill in 2008 was so important, and why we're working with Tacoma, Seattle, Spokane and other cities to consider Voter-Owned Elections programs at the local level.

And it may require a statewide citizens initiative, to bring Clean Elections laws (like exists now in Maine, Arizona, Connecticut and several other states) to Washington state. That's why WPC is laying the groundwork for such an effort right now - planning, seeking coalition allies, and testing language and features of any proposed bill or initiative.

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Craig Salins is executive director of Washington Public Campaigns, a statewide organization advocating for public financing of campaigns at local, state and national levels.

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