-By Alan Simpson
May 5, 2011- Memo to George Will: I was there.
I was proud to testify at the April 12 hearing on Sen. Dick Durbin’s campaign finance bill about which Will wrote last week . I spoke in support of reform that has everything to do with values he has long espoused: free speech, citizen participation and accountable government.
Will was correct that only Democratic members of the Senate attended the hearing. But I am not alone. Former Senate colleagues who also support this long-overdue reform include Republicans Warren Rudman, Bill Cohen, Bill Brock and Frank Murkowski, as well as dozens of other former senators, representatives and governors from our side of the aisle. In fact, we owe the concept of publicly funded elections to a great Republican president, Teddy Roosevelt, who proposed a similar reform in his 1905 State of the Union address.