Feb. 16, 2000
Statement by Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook on George W. Bush?s Loophole-Ridden Campaign Finance Plan
In campaigning for the Republican primary in South Carolina, George W. Bush has recognized the public?s intense desire for reform of the system of legalized bribery through which politicians extract large sums of money from wealthy individuals, corporations and unions.
Unfortunately, Bush’s proposal would do little or nothing to break the iron grip that big money donors have on our political system. His plan would even make matters worse by tripling the amount of cash that individuals can give to candidates for federal office.
Our campaign system is rife with corruption, and Bush?s plan does nothing to stop it. His ban of soft money giving by corporations and unions to national political parties would simply mean that these huge unlimited, unregulated donations would be redirected to state parties. And it means that corporations could continue giving the same money to national parties by laundering it through their top executives. Bush also would do nothing to stop sham “issue” ads, through which political parties and interest groups circumvent campaign laws.
It?s time for real reform, not another cynical effort to mislead the public.