All For It

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The Hill interviewed Democratic lobbyist Jack Quinn for today's issue and after prodding him on his contributions to Democratic presidential candidates they took his temperature on the latest lobbying restrictions and on what changes he might make to how campaigns are financed. His answers help show the real breadth of support for full public financing of campaigns.


Here's the section of the interview where they cover the topic:

What do you think of the new fundraising rules and the fact that you can’t take a member out for a big steak?
“The rules are well-intentioned but missed the mark. I don’t think a member could be corrupted by an $8 hamburger.”

Then what is the problem?
“The problem is the way we finance campaigns in this country. We have to go to a system where no one with a stake in the political outcome can contribute to a legislator who is casting votes in that public policy debate. You would have campaigns funded by the public.”

Do you think that will ever happen?
“It’s quite unlikely, but it’s worth pressing for because it would help people view Congress as they should — as a group of serious-minded individuals who … are not here to feather their own nests.”

I'd only add that it's far from "unlikely" that we can pass full public financing of elections for Congress; we've got bipartisan legislation introduced in both chambers that would do exactly that and support for the idea is growing.