What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Campaign Finance Reform : HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote on Republican Version of Bill Designed to Complicate Passage of Reform By Requiring Total Ban on Soft Money Which Would Adversely Impact State Political Parties and Stand Little Change of Passage in Senate. (2002 house Roll Call 19)
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HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote on Republican Version of Bill Designed to Complicate Passage of Reform By Requiring Total Ban on Soft Money Which Would Adversely Impact State Political Parties and Stand Little Change of Passage in Senate.
house Roll Call 19     Feb 13, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

During the 1990s, the political system had become awash in so-called "soft money": unrestricted donations from corporations and wealthy individuals that exploited a loophole in campaign finance laws. Soft money was originally intended for "party-building activities," but parties had begun to use it to support individual candidates. Reform had been proposed before, and a previous version of the reform bill was used a starting point for debate. Under the rules of debate, Republicans were permitted two "substitutes": wholesale replacements for the bill under consideration. This was the first of these substitutes, and the most dangerous for supporters of reform: a version that banned all soft money, not just soft money for national parties, and that even forbade state parties from using soft money donations for get-out-the-vote and voter registration drives. Progressives supported reform, so they opposed this substitute. The substitute would never have made it through the Senate, and it might not have made it through the House. This made a vote for it a vote against reform, because everyone involved understood it would undermine the larger effort to pass a bill. With Progressives voting "no," the substitute was rejected, 179-249.

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