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|NOVEMBER 4, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Common Cause
Jeff Cronin or John Anthony 202-736-5770
|Common Cause Statement on Results of the 1998 Elections|
November 4 - Following is a statement by Common Cause President Ann McBride, on the
results of the 1998 elections, released today:
The lesson of the 1998 elections is that while big money continues to play a powerful role in determining who wins and who loses elections, reform supporters won some important victories across the country.
Wherever voters had the opportunity to vote directly for campaign finance reform, reform won.
Voters in Arizona and Massachusetts passed historic referenda providing public financing of campaigns for state candidates. Voters in Florida passed a key constitutional revision which enshrines Florida's existing system of public financing into the state constitution.
And despite the best efforts of Majority Leader Trent Lott and Senator Mitch McConnell, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Senator Russ Feingold, one of the Senate's leading reformers, was re-elected. Facing a barrage of phony issue-attack ads funded with out-of-state, undisclosed, special-interest soft money, Senator Feingold won while refusing similar help from his party or outside groups -- and by making campaign finance reform the test issue in his own campaign.
In addition, Senators Alfonse D'Amato and Lauch Faircloth, incumbent Senators who voted to block campaign finance reform, each went down in defeat in part because their opposition to reform became an issue in their campaigns.
The current campaign finance system is completely out of control, with incumbent reelection rates of more than 90 percent, and a growing flood of soft money-funded negative attack ads overwhelming the process. Congressional leaders promise early action next year on campaign finance reform, and reformers will also be pressing for action on campaign finance reform at the state level. Americans are making their voices heard on campaign finance reform.
And our politicians better listen.
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