CTNJ has the story: John Larson is spearheading efforts to institute a national public campaign financing law similar to Connecticut’s landmark 2005 reform.
Under Larson’s proposed legislation, candidates for the US House of Representatives would be required to raise 1,500 contributions of no more than $100 from constituents in their district. The qualifying limit to receive a public grant would be $50,000. Once a candidate raised the money they would receive a matching grant from a federal fund.
The bill is also finding support from Rep. Joe Courtney and Rep. Chris Murphy, who both won close races against well-funded incumbents in 2006.
Larson also suggested four year terms for members of Congress, with elections being staggered (i.e., half the Congress would be up for election every two years).
Interestingly, Rep. Murphy’s opponent, Justin Bernier, has asked the incumbent congressman to start practicing what he’s preaching right away:
Murphy’s opponent Republican Justin Bernier sent Murphy a letter Monday asking him to participate in the principles of the Fair Elections Now Act. Bernier asked Murphy to self-impose a fundraising cap of $1 million and proposed a limited of $2,400 from individual donors. Bernier also asked Murphy to forego special interest and Political Action Committee contributions (Stuart)
Murphy responded that he hadn’t read the letter, but did say that it would be difficult for any one candidate to do this unilaterally, which is why legislation is needed.
A bill may get a hearing in Washington later this summer.