Congress Considers Ban on "Soft Money"

02/12/02 12:00AM



(Host) Congressman Bernard Sanders says an upcoming vote on campaign finance reform legislation will be one of the most important issues to come before Congress this year. The legislation would ban the use of "soft money" in political campaigns.

Soft money contributions cannot be donated directly to candidates but instead are channeled to the major political parties without any limitations.

In the most recent election, it is estimated that the Republican and Democratic parties raised over half a billion dollars in soft money from individuals and corporations.

Sanders says eliminating soft money is the first step in campaign reform:

(Sanders) "The current system amounts, to a large degree, to legalized bribery and it ultimately favors the big money interests. Now if you cannot go out into your community and around this country and get people to contribute $25 or $50 bucks for your election, then you may want to think twice about the message that you have. So I think that an election system which is dependent upon $25,000-a-plate fundraising dinners, which is dependent upon large corporations contributing millions of dollars – that is a bad, bad system."

(Host) Sanders says the bill has a reasonable chance of passing the House this week because a majority of members of the House signed a discharge petition calling for action on the legislation.
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