Washington, DC — Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) today called on the Senate to pass campaign finance reform legislation to correct the abuses of a current campaign finance system that is “inherently defective” and “cannot last.” Excerpts follow:
“I must say that in my opinion, we now have the worst campaign finance system that we have ever had in this country. In fact, you cannot call it a campaign finance system at all. It is a situation that is an open invitation to abuse. It is an open invitation to corruption. It is an open invitation to cynicism.
“And after the scandal of the 1996 campaign, if we don’t do something about it, the level of cynicism I talked about earlier is going to be even higher. If people think now we have gotten over the hump and everyone loves Congress now, you wait until the economy dips a little bit and it will all come back to the trend that it’s been following for a long, long time now. It is a scandal waiting to happen.
“It is a system now that after all this time has come to the point where there is no limitation on big corporate contributions, or big labor contributions, and we are spending more and more and more time going after more and more and more money from fewer and fewer people that have the millions of dollars that is fueling our system — the same people that come back before us wanting us to either pass or defeat legislation.
“I have said ever since I have been in the United States Senate, I say here again today, that is a system that cannot last.”