September 14, 1999
Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith will vote for the comprehensive Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform legislation tonight on the House floor. Smith, a co-sponsor of the legislation, will also oppose several amendments designed to weaken or erode support for the bill.
“The Shays-Meehan reform bill will eliminate the most egregious aspect of campaign financing – soft money,” Smith explained. “Soft money is the unregulated money that donors give to political parties who then use it on behalf of candidates running for office. Simply put, it’s a way for big money to get around the current contribution limits.”
In addition to eliminating federal soft money, Shays-Meehan also regulates issue advocacy, confirms the right of labor union members to disallow political use of their dues and requires electronic filing to the Federal Election Commission.
Smith will vote against two amendments which gives wealthy contributors more influence in the political process. The amendments, both sponsored by Representative Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky), would increase the individual campaign contribution limit from $1,000 to $3,000 and increase the aggregate annual individual contribution level from $30,000 to $75,000.
“I believe the current campaign contribution limits of $1,000 per person and an aggregate level of $30,000 per person are appropriate,” said Smith. “Tripling those limits is a step in the wrong direction.”
The votes are expected late this evening.