NVRI E-News: February 2, 2006

Let Your Voice Be Heard - Act by Friday to Support Spending Limits

A powerful solution to the increasing dominance of money in American politics has remained largely off the public agenda for nearly 30 years - until now. The 1976 Supreme Court decision Buckley v. Valeo - which wrongly equated money with speech - has caused most lawmakers to shy away from enacting campaign spending limits. Now, an exciting case from the state of Vermont gives the Court the chance to revisit Buckley and open the door for spending limits. And you can help.

Contact your U.S. Senators, state Attorney General and Secretary of State, and ask them to sign a brief supporting Vermont's Spending Limits law.

But Act fast - calls need to go in by the end of the day Friday


Briefs will be filed next week with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the Court to uphold spending limits as a reasonable campaign reform. Among the many briefs that will be filed, there are three on which you can help right now. Contact the offices of the following officials by the end of the day on Friday February 3, and ask them to join a brief in support of spending limits. All of the briefs argue that spending limits are not automatically barred by the Constitution, but when carefully drawn, can be an important democracy reform.

State Attorneys General: Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has already circulated this draft brief to all Attorneys General in the country. Call your state's AG and urge him or her to join the effort. Here's a contact list.

State Secretaries of State or Chief Elections Officials: Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury is the lead signer on this brief, and seeks co-signers who are the Chief Elections Officer of their state. In most cases, that's the Secretary of State. The brief has been circulated already to all Secretaries. Here's a contact list for the Secretaries.

U.S. Senators: Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is leading this brief. Senator Reed's office will shortly circulate a brief asking Senators to join him. Contact your Senators right away and ask them to contact Senator Reed's office so they can see the brief the moment it is finished. To find your Senators' contact information, click here.

Campaign spending limits can help level the political playing field, and allow ordinary citizens with good ideas to run for office. If spending limits are permitted, our candidates and elected officials will be able to spend their time talking to regular citizens and voters, rather than spending their time chasing huge contributions.

Read all about the case on NVRI's website.

All of the briefs will be posted there by the end of next week.

Best regards,

Stuart Comstock-Gay
Executive Director
National Voting Rights Institute