HR 4694, ironicly called the “Let the People Decide Clean Campaign Act”, is a bipartisan bill that would effectively bar third party congressional candidates from spending any money on their campaigns.
The bill would grant nominees of parties that had averaged 25% of the vote for House races in a given district in the last two elections full public funding. All others would be required to submit petitions signed by 10% of the last vote cast for partial funding, and 20% petitions for full funding, a prohibitively large number.
While third parties have raised the alarm about this bill, what has gone unnoticed is that it would effectively institutionalize incumbancy in the House. The 2004 election was the least competitive in history. The average margin of victory was 40%–meaning 70% to 30% in a two way race. Scores of races were uncontested.
The sponsors of this bill are attempting to establish permanent incumbancy, even to the point of deliberately cutting themselves out of uncompetative races. For all practical purposes, this would be the end of a democratic Hosue of Representatives.
If this bill becomes law, Greens should wage a massive civil disobedience campaign against it. We should stand candidates in every district we possible can, and each one of them should publicly take a $1 donation in violation of the bill.
Lets see if the Republocrats have the guts to face that kind of publicity.