Magazine article Black Enterprise

CBC Fails for a Republican

Magazine article Black Enterprise

CBC Fails for a Republican

Article excerpt

Campaign finance reform brings the two together

It's not often that members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) side with Republicans to derail legislation near and dear to Democratic hearts. Yet that's exactly what happened when Reps. Robert Ney (B-Ohio) and CBC member Albert Wynn (D-Md.) formed an alliance this past summer to co-sponsor rival campaign finance reform legislation.

There was nothing underhanded in the way Ney wooed Wynn. As in any successful romance, he listened, he consulted, and he let the black legislator know his feelings mattered. It was a win-Wynn situation that gives other minority lawmakers the opportunity to rethink their positions and to possibly leave the Shays-Meehan bill at the altar like a jilted bride.

"Soft money" is at the core of the conflict between those for and against campaign finance reform. The proposed Shays-Meehan bill would ban soft money or unlimited contributions to the national parties' coffers that are often used for voter mobilization and advertising. It would keep the $1,000 limit on "hard money" contributions to House candidates, but increase contributions to Senate and presidential candidates to $2,000.

The proposed Ney-Wynn bill caps soft money contributions to national party committees at $75,000 and does not change the current unlimited fundraising for state parties or $1,000 hard money limit.

Some CBC members, like Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), passionately believe a campaign fund-raising overhaul is long overdue, but he doesn't support Ney-Wynn. …

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