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
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
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.
DEBORAH A. VOLLMER
Democratic candidate for Congress
This letter was also printed in the Montgomery County Sentinel in the July 19-25 edition.
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