Six Questions for Alaska Congressional Candidates--#3 Campaign Finance: Taking money from lobbyists and PACs
(P.S. I've had several people ask why I have not been including any commentary on these posts. I wanted to present these answers to you as I received them from the candidates and allow everyone to analyze and decide for themselves.)
3) Campaign Finance: Senator Barack Obama, as the new leader of the Party has told the DNC that they are no longer permitted to accept money from lobbyists or PACs. For his own campaign, this requirement has been so stringent he’s returned small, personal donations to anyone who identifies him/herself as a “lobbyist” of any kind. Will you be incorporating that directive into your own campaign and refusing money from these sources?
Time and again I stood up in Juneau for campaign finance reform. For limits from big money, against easing restrictions on lobbyists – for more accountability and more transparency in our political process, and for measures that defended the integrity of institutions against corruption.
Those are the principles I have imparted to my campaign.
It’s about more than PACs. I believe that working families, and not just the wealthy, should have a voice in the political process and am proud to accept the support of labor unions. I am honored to receive the support of members of Congress. I am grateful that supporters of groups like Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign have found a way to pool their resources and support my candidacy.
I will continue to speak out for public financing of campaigns. I will continue to oppose corporate participation in the political process, and I will continue to be a proven voice for ethical government.
Let me be clear. Representatives of the people should not take money from lobbyists. It’s just that simple. I applaud Senator Obama and the DNC for taking such a bold stance on campaign finance reform. I believe that we as democrats, the party which represents the heart, the soul, and the voice of the average American, have an obligation to resist the temptation of special interests.
As many of you know, I’ve been calling for campaign finance reform since I ran to retire Don Young in 2006. I’m proud to run a campaign financed by people and not by special interests. This is why I’ve never taken money from lobbyists or Industry PACs. The simple truth is these sources don’t hand out large piles of money without expecting something in return.
Clean government is THE defining issue in this election. Campaign finance reform is the best way of cleaning up government and is the primary difference between myself and my opponents. When our elderly are forced to choose between life sustaining food and life saving medicine, when telecom companies get off the hook for violating our civil liberties, or when Congress watches while families collapse under the weight of excruciatingly high gas prices; and yet refuses to act…we can bet it is because Representatives took money from big business lobbyists. Campaign finance isn’t just a matter of ethics. It’s a matter of making progress as a country. I hope that all voters will think long and hard between now and August 26th. Before the people of Alaska vote they need to ask themselves one simple question, “Do you want your Congressperson to represent you or lobbyists?”