What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Campaign Finance Reform : HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote Intended to Complicate Passage of Reform By Introducing Exemptions to Advertising Restrictions for Workers, Farmers, and Families. (2002 house Roll Call 27)
 Who: All Members
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HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote Intended to Complicate Passage of Reform By Introducing Exemptions to Advertising Restrictions for Workers, Farmers, and Families.
house Roll Call 27     Feb 13, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

During the 1990s, "soft money" donations had become the way for corporations and wealthy individuals to give unrestricted amounts of money to parties and politicians. Parties were supposed to use soft money for "party-building" activities, but they had found ways to use it to support individual candidates while staying within the letter of the law. The Shays-Meehan campaign reform bill closed this loophole by banning soft money, but in order to pass it needed to survive a number of unfriendly amendments proposed by opponents. These amendments were meant to fracture the majority in favor of the bill and to make passage in the Senate more complicated. In this case, Combest (R-TX) proposed an amendment that would exempt advocacy of issues related to workers, farmers, and families from advertising restrictions in the bill. Progressives opposed this amendment because they knew it was meant to weigh down the bill itself: the breadth of the exempted categories exacted maximum damage to the bill's substance while gathering as many supporters of the amendment as possible. With the help of "no" votes from Progressives, the amendment fell, 191-237.

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