Reps. Pappas and Tauscher
July 23, 1997
in this forum:
How are the fund-raising hearings playing in your district? How has the Republican coup impacted the Members? What is the rationale behind the tax proposal? Shouldn't Congress simply ban soft money? Why does the tax cut bill eliminate the tuition waiver? Why hasn't the Justice Department charged anyone for fund-raising crimes?
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A question from Jay Stevens of Long Beach, CA:
With all the information about John Huang and the large financial contributions to the DNC Victory Fund by foreign interests, it seems to me what we are learning is how "soft money" corrupts the electoral politics of the U.S. I have two questions:
1. Shouldn't the focus of campaign finance reform be primarily on eliminating "soft money" and requiring the same kind of contribution limits to the political parties that now apply to contributions to candidates.
2. Is there any realistic hope that the Republican members of the House leadership will allow a vote on campaign finance reform to come to the floor for a vote
Rep. Pappas responds:
As I stated in response to one of the previous questions, many of the allegations that have come out deal with violations of existing laws. I believe that before we begin reforming the system itself we must ensure that all candidates for federal office follow the existing laws. If we revise federal election finance laws and they are not enforced, are we any better off?
Rep. Tauscher responds:
I could not agree with you more. You may be interested to know that I and nine other members of the bipartisan Freshmen Task Force on Campaign Finance Reform recently introduced the Bipartisan Campaign Integrity Act that would do just what you propose. The Bipartisan Campaign Integrity Act would ban all "soft" money and require greater disclosure requirements from people who are financing campaigns. This legislation is a balanced bipartisan proposal that directly attacks two of the most egregious problems in our campaign system -- soft money & lack of rigorous disclosure. The large sums of unregulated contributions to the political parties, and the anonymous ads run by third party organizations caused the last election cycle to be the most expensive and least accountable in history. If Democrats and Republicans can come together to balance the budget, we can certainly arrive at a bipartisan solution to fix our ailing campaign finance system.