Washington Post: Op-Ed: Why the GOP should support publicly funded campaigns

-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.

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Politico: Legal challenge to GOP independent cash

May 5, 2011- Campaign Accountability Watch, a coalition of dozens of smaller liberal groups, has launched a legal challenge to outside spending by GOP-leaning groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.

The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision opened the door to a massive change in political spending, which those groups capitalized on in last year’s midterm elections.

The new group wants U.S. attorneys to prosecute outside groups for using nonprofits to take anonymous donations in what it says is a violation of election laws that require transparency. The new coalition has sent letters to 40 U.S. attorneys, along with 12,000 signatures, asking them to prosecute alleged 2010 election law violations.

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Wall St. Journal: Democrats Copy Republicans on New Donor Group

April 29, 2011– Looking to counter Republicans who poured money into the 2010 election, much of it from anonymous donors, Democrats formed their own group today that will do the same.

 Bill Burton, former White House deputy press secretary and an adviser for Priorities USA. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Priorities USA, being advised by two former White House aides, is copying Republican techniques and organizing itself under the tax code in a way that does not require it to disclose donors, and can accept money from lobbyists, corporations and unions. It hopes to raise $100 million this political cycle.

That puts the White House in a tricky position. Last year, President Barack Obama and other Democrats repeatedly attacked Republican groups for not naming its contributors. The president said the money is “not just a threat to Democrats, that’s a threat to our democracy.”

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