What is ignored in this debate is the fact that the parties do much more with their soft money
revenue than simply fund negative advertising campaigns.
To defend the long-standing tax break it enjoys on ethanol production, Archer Daniels Midland, the "supermarket to the world," since 1988 has brought a shopping cart to Washington filled with more than $3 million in soft money
contributions to both parties.
They organized several groups under Section 527 of the tax code to raise and spend the soft money
which the Democratic Party no longer could.
Much of the national parties' soft money
flowed into the state because Oregon was perceived as a battleground state in the hotly contested, and still controversial, 2000 presidential contest between George W.
After years spent lecturing the public about the evils of soft money
, on Thursday you allowed your Senate committee hearing room to be used by a group to launch a series of TV ads that are paid for with the same soft money
you claim to despise.
In addition to the $68 million each candidate has received in public campaign funds, millions more are being spent in so-called soft money
by the political parties and special-interest groups to run television ads that favor Gore or Bush.
Though the system would have to be voluntary, candidates could be encouraged to accept public financing by implementing reforms such as decreasing contribution limits, banning soft money
, guaranteeing free broadcast time (every other developed democratic country provides their candidates with free media time), and enacting loan limits (wealthy candidates can virtually buy their way into office by loaning their campaigns unlimited funds).
In 2002, Republicans got 60 percent of Microsoft's soft money
, Microsoft Political Action Committee contributions and individual employee contributions.
The Pence-Wynn bill also allows unlimited solicitations from trade associations, increases by 50 percent the amount a political action committee (PAC) can contribute to candidates, repeals restrictions on the use of soft money
to fund sham issue ads (broadcast ads promoting or attacking federal candidates close to Election Day), and allows federal candidates to directly control the spending of unlimited sums of soft money
on paid advertising campaigns run on the Internet.
Months of squabbling within the labor community over organization and campaign strategy have produced at least two competing groups aimed at raising soft money
for grassroots mobilization and independent expenditures.
5 million in soft money
flowed to the state Democratic and Republican parties.
would ban unlimited soft money
donations to political parties.