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Obama Opposes Campaign Finance Bill

The Obama
Administration issued a statement of strong opposition Tuesday to a Republican
backed bill to end public financing of presidential elections and political
party conventions.

Republican Rep.
Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a member of the House Budget Committee, and 18 co-sponsors
are billing HR 359,
introduced last week, as a deficit-reduction measure.

The White House
disagrees. Pointing out that the public financing system was put in place after
Watergate (a scandal involving a Republican presidential campaign), the Office
of Management and Budget released a public statement of administration policy
strongly opposed to the bill.

OMB said the
effect of the bill would be "to force many candidates into an endless
cycle of fundraising at the expense of engagement with voters on the issues;
and to place a premium on access to large donor or special interest support,
narrowing the field of otherwise worthy candidates."

the administration said it would be a second blow following the Citizen's
United decision in September 2009 that allowed corporations and unions to directly
fund ads advocating the election of candidates in the immediate run-up to
federal elections and primaries.

"After a
year in which the Citizens United decision rolled back a century of law to
allow corporate interests to spend vast sums in the Nation's elections and to
do so without disclosing the true interests behind them, this is not the time
to further empower the special interests or to obstruct the work of reform."

Of course, campaign
spending translates to more ad dollars for broadcast and cable
outlets, but with a Democratic Senate and president
with veto power, the bill is unlikely to make it past House approval.