Letter to the Montgomery Journal

Deborah wrote this letter to the editor of the Montgomery Journal and they published it in their July 18, 2001 edition.

Voters can demand campaign reform
While it is unfortunate that Congress failed to pass meaningful campaign finance reform this month, we should not be too discouraged. Reform will come, if we are determined to make it happen. It is up to the voters to communicate to their representatives in Congress that it is time to put an end to the influence of big money special interests on elections, and on the legislative process.

While unregulated ``soft money" is certainly a big part of the problem, I feel that the passage of Shays-Meehan would only have been a partial solution to the campaign finance problem. The real issue is the difficulty faced by candidates who are neither independently wealthy nor backed by corporate ``fat cats" in getting out the message of the campaign.

Two reforms would go along way to address this problem: the public financing of congressional campaigns (``clean money" elections) and rules requiring that the media give free and low-cost air time to all serious candidates for public office. The air waves, after all, do belong to the public, and such legislation would be entirely appropriate.

I do not believe that the issue of campaign finance reform will be addressed by Congress again this year, although it is possible. As a candidate for Congress in Maryland's Eighth Congressional District, I intend to focus my campaign on a number of issues, including the desirability of both public financing of campaigns, and rules requiring television and other media to give candidates free and low-cost campaign advertising. If elected to Congress in 2002, I will make these reforms a legislative priority.

Democratic candidate for Congress
District 8

This letter was also printed in the Montgomery County Sentinel in the July 19-25 edition.

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