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Tom O`Halleran on Government Reform

 

 


Limit the influence of campaign donations & lobbyists

Reform campaign finance: There is just too much money involved in the election process. The voice of the middle class and those in poverty is being pushed aside by the influence of a few who hide behind current campaign finance laws. We need to find ways to limit the impact of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling. Registered lobbyists should not be allowed to be part of campaign organizations and finance committees.

Extend the lobbying ban: The two-year ban on legislators returning to the Capitol as lobbyists is the right idea, but it isn't enough. I support extending the ban to five years, and including staff in the ban.

Ban luxury trips: Luxury trips paid for by special interests happen under the guise of keeping members of Congress informed. Their real purpose is to give lobbyists special access and to reward legislators for voting a certain way. Those free trips for legislators should be banned.

Source: 2016 Arizona House campaign website TomOHalleran.com , Nov 8, 2016

Establish "My Voice Voucher" small campaign contributions.

O`Halleran co-sponsored Government By the People Act

Congressional summary:

Proponent's argument in favor (by Reps. Nancy Pelosi & John Sarbanes): Citizens United shook the foundation of our democracy: the principle that it is the voices of the people, not the bank accounts of the privileged few, that determine the outcome of our elections and the policies of our government. Most members of Congress would leap at the chance to fund their campaigns without having to turn to a familiar cast of big donors and entrenched interests. Today, that's virtually impossible. But we can and must break the grip of special interests on our politics: rally around H.R. 20.

Opponent's argument against (The Examiner): The proposed legislation seeks to undo the Citizens United v. FEC ruling which has been a thorn in the side of progressives ever since the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that political spending was "a form of protected speech under the First Amendment." Although the "Government by the People Act" innocently claims to want to get big money out of politics, the real goal is to smash the Tea Party. The fear that conservative groups would have access to funds typically granted to progressive groups and unions was too much to bear.

Source: H.R.20 14-H0020 on Feb 5, 2014

Public financing of federal campaigns by voter vouchers.

O`Halleran co-sponsored H.R.20 & S.366

Congressional Summary:<

Supporters reasons for voting YEA:Rep. Sarbanes: Big money warps Congress' priorities and erodes the public's trust in government. This bold new legislation returns voice and power back to the American people:

  1. Empower everyday citizens to fuel Congressional campaigns by providing a My Voice Tax Credit.
  2. Amplify the voices of everyday Americans through a 6-to-1 match.
  3. Prevent Super PACs from drowning out small donor-backed candidates.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY:(Bill Moyers, Feb. 19, 2015): This citizen engagement strategy, particularly when used to court small donors, is not without its critics. Small donors, at least in the current system, often tend to be political ideologues. That trend leaves many asking: won't moving to small donors just empower extremists? Sarbanes counters, if Congress changes the political fundraising rules, they will also change the calculus for "the rational small donor who right now isn't going to give $25 because they've figured out that it's not going to matter." The prospect of a 6-to-1 match might very well impact how those less ideologically extreme potential donors think about political giving.

Source: Government By the People Act 15_H020 on Jan 21, 2015

Automatic voter registration for all citizens.

O`Halleran co-sponsored H.R.12 & S.1088

Congressional Summary:

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (BrennanCenter.org): Too many Americans go to vote on Election Day only to find their names are not on the voter rolls--often, wrongly deleted. The US is on the verge of a new paradigm for registering voters: automatic, permanent registration of eligible voters, which would add up to 50 million eligible voters to the rolls.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Gov. Christie's veto message on the "Democracy Act", Nov. 2015): Christie called a provision establishing automatic voter registration that requires New Jerseyan to opt out a "government-knows-best, backwards approach that would inconvenience citizens and waste government resources for no justifiable reason." Automatic voter registration would have added 1.6 million people to the state's voter rolls.

Source: Voter Empowerment Act 15-H12 on Mar 19, 2015

Holiday on election day; revamp for easier voting access.

O`Halleran voted YEA For the People Act of 2019