A question from Matt Rivers of Princeton, NJ:
How best do you recommend we balance the concerns of the First Amendment vs the need to have cleaner elections?
Rep. Pappas responds:
While Congress begins to look at passing news laws we must undertake an
examination of the current laws and ensure that they being followed.
Changing the laws now would seemingly have the appearance of trying to cover
up past violations instead of restoring integrity to the system for the
country's sake. There are over eighty campaign finance reform bills already
introduced and I am currently studying each one.
Rep. Tauscher responds:
The ongoing hearings on campaign finance reform have clearly pointed out some of the most egregious flaws in our campaign finance system, such as the practice of financing elections through the use of "soft money." Soft money is usually donated to the national political parties for the use of "party-building activities," but all too often has been used to skirt restrictions on individuals to contribute money to particular candidates. The greatly expanded use of soft money in recent years has made a mockery of the contribution limits that have been placed on individuals contributing to a particular candidate. Since individual contribution limits to scholars agree a ban of soft money would just be an extension of already established contribution limits. I think the soft money ban could serve as an example of the balance you are trying to achieve.