Campaign finance deserves our attention

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 26, 2001

The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upheld a Nixon-era ruling Monday that limited spending on political parties.

The move affects funds that state and national parties are allowed to spend on advertisements and promotional activities supporting specific candidates.

Supporters of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance plan heralded the decision as proof their plan is constitutional.

Opponents claim restricting political spending violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.

Hogwash.

Although few Americans seem to pay little attention to the issue, campaign finance reform is potentially the biggest item on the congressional agenda this year.

While the tax cut may earn more popularity points, campaign finance reform will ultimately affect the American political system – and our country&160;- in far reaching ways.

Although Monday’s decision does little to push the much-needed campaign finance reform measures through Congress, it does bring the issue back into the public spotlight.

It’s important the House pass some form of campaign finance reform during this session to help curb – if not ban – the use of so-called &uot;soft money.&uot; These unregulated and unlimited donations that can be made to political parties are dangerous and must be stopped. Failure to do so will continue to skew the political system into the hands of a few wealthy and powerful people.

We urge all residents to contact their congressmen today and let your voice be heard on the campaign finance committee.