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LWV:  SUPPORT McCAIN-FEINGOLD BILL,
OPPOSE HAGEL'S ALTERNATIVE BILL

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READ THE LEAGUE LOBBYING LETTER:  INFO HERE
PHONE YOUR SENATORS:  INFO HERE
WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:  INFO HERE
VOTE McCAIN'S WEB POLL:  INFO HERE (Right Side of Page)

Senate leaders have decided to bring campaign finance reform to the floor of the Senate in the last week of March.  This is the perfect opportunity to tell our Senators that landmark legislation is required and they NEED to vote for it.  The League of Women Voters supports the campaign finance reform bill as introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Russ Feingold (D-WI).  This bill would:

1. Ban soft money by closing the loophole that allows unlimited contributions to political parties from corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals.

2. Prohibit corporate and union spending on "sham issue" advocacy that mentions federal candidates within 60 days of an election.

3. Require full disclosure of spending on "sham issue" advocacy and the large individual donors who pay for them.

------------------


The League's National Lobby Corps has already begun to lobby Senate offices on Capitol Hill.  Please provide them with your support. Go
HERE to see the letter from President Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins that urges Senators to pass campaign finance reform now.

SPEAK OUT!  PLEASE TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:

PLEASE phone your Senators. Tell them that they need to support the McCain/Feingold bill, S.27, without amendments.  Also, tell them that Senator Hagel's bill, S.21, is not acceptable legislation for campaign finance reform.  (Please see facts and background section for more information.)  Follow up with an e-mail or letter to reiterate your position. You can find your Senator's address
HERE.

Write a letter to your local paper
HERE. People read editorials.  The people in your area need to realize what is going on in Congress and your letter-to-the-editor can help your friends and neighbors get involved.

Vote on
John McCain's web site, to NOT increase federal campaign contributions from $1,000 to $3,000.  The poll is on the right-hand side of the screen.

THE MESSAGE:

1. VOTE FOR THE MCCAIN/FEINGOLD BILL AS INTRODUCED, S.27.
This campaign finance reform bill will effectively ban soft money, ensure that funding for "sham issue" advocacy is covered by election rules, and strengthen enforcement and disclosure.

2. OPPOSE AMENDMENTS TO THE MCCAIN/FEINGOLD BILL.
Amendments will sidetrack the reform effort and undermine the bipartisan coalition supporting the bill.

3. OPPOSE PROVISIONS THAT MAY BE OFFERED TO RAISE "HARD MONEY" CONTRIBUTION LIMITS.
A recent study suggests that tripling hard money limits would put back more than twice the soft money from individuals that would be taken out.

4. VOTE AGAINST THE HAGEL CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM BILL.
This bill is fatally flawed. For more background see the opposition letter on the League's web site.

FACTS AND BACKGROUND:
Most observers believe that "soft money" and "sham issue ads" are the biggest loopholes in the campaign finance system.  The soft money loophole allows wealthy individuals, corporations and labor unions to effortlessly evade the limits placed on their contributions to political candidates and campaigns.  The sham issue ads loophole allows corporations, unions and wealthy individuals to avoid disclosure and contribution limits by running thinly disguised "issue ads" that technically are about issues but that effectively advocate election or defeat of candidates.

THE HAGEL BILL:

1. Greatly increases the role of wealthy interests in American politics by tripling all the limits on individual hard money contributions.

2. Fails to effectively address the dangerous soft money problems it purports to solve.

3. Contains a provision on issue advertising that would not deal effectively with the problem of phony issue ads using secret money to oppose or elect candidates.

For background information on campaign finance reform; go to the
LWV website.  For additional information on Senate bills, go HERE.  For more information, call Jodie Moxley, League of Women Voters National Grassroots Lobbying Coordinator, 202-263-1328 or e-mail jmoxley@lwv.org.

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