What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Campaign Finance Reform : HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote Intended to Complicate Passage of Reform By Requiring Total Ban on Soft Money Which Would Adversely Impact State Political Parties and Stand Little Change of Passage in Senate.
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HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote Intended to Complicate Passage of Reform By Requiring Total Ban on Soft Money Which Would Adversely Impact State Political Parties and Stand Little Change of Passage in Senate.
house Roll Call 29     Feb 13, 2002
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

During the 1990s, corporations and wealthy individuals had learned to skirt restrictions on the size of donations to political campaigns by giving unrestricted "soft money" to political parties instead. The parties were supposed to use the money for "partybuilding" activities, but they had found ways to use it to support individual candidates while staying within the letter of the law. To address this issue, Shays (R-CT) and Meehan (D-MA) pushed a reform bill that banned soft money donations to the national parties, though the bill also permitted such donations to state parties for the sake of get-out-the-vote and voter registration drives. Opponents of the reform bill-mostly Republicans-sought to weigh it down with unfriendly amendments that would weaken support for the overall bill and complicate passage in the Senate. The strategy was dangerous for the bill's proponents because the pro-reform coalition was fragile, making it easy to peel away votes on specific issues. This vote was on one such amendment: a proposal to ban all soft money, not just donations to the national parties. Progressives opposed this amendment, because they supported reform and knew it was simply a way to undermine the reform effort. The amendment was rejected, 185-244.

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