June 3, 2007

Senate Public Funding Bill S.936

The Senate has a "public financing bill" S.936, introduced March 20, 2007 by Richard Durbin (D-Ill) and Arlen Specter (R-PA).

Here's how it works in a nut-shell:

Step 1: Collect Seed Money
+ this is the "operating cost" money
+ Limited to $100 per doner

Step 2: Collect Qualifying Contributions
+ This is like a petition to show the candidate has support
+ Must be $5 each (not sure if the operating donations count toward this)
+ Need 2,000 contributions plus another 500 contributions from each congressional district.

Step 3: Follow Spending Limits
+ After candidates commit to and qualify for public funding, they cannot use private donations or their own money.

Step 4: Comply with Simple Rules

Step 5: Receive Enough Public Funding to Campaign
+ Senate candidates receive $750k plus $150k for each congressional district for the general election.
+ "Fair Fight" funds are provided if a privately funded candidate is highly funded.
+ Smaller amounts are provided for the primary election.

Remember: It's Voluntary
+ Because money has been defined as "free speech" by the US Supreme Court, public financing cannot be mandatory, unless we change the US Constitution.


Public Citizen News, May/June 2007.

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