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Yet Another Romney Flip-Flop: Campaign Finance Reform

Contact: Press Office, 571-730-1010; www.Fred08.com

 

MEDIA ADVISORY, Dec. 19 /Standard Newswire/ -- According to an article in today's Weekly Standard, advisers to Mitt Romney have been attacking Fred Thompson on campaign finance reform.  This is ironic given Mitt Romney's past support for publically financed elections, campaign spending limits, and abolishing political action committees. 

 

2002: Romney Went Further Than McCain-Feingold And Supported Public Financing Of Campaigns By Taxing Political Contributions. "...he suggested an alternative funding method. Instead of providing campaign funds from state coffers, his plan would tap 10 percent of the fundraising of candidates who choose to raise money privately." (Richard Nangle, "Clean Election advocates keep pushing; Common Cause to ask Romney's assistance," Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts), 11/14/02)

 

1994: Romney Wanted To Implement A $6 Million Campaign Spending Limit And Abolish PACs. "Romney also said he advocates spending limits on congressional elections, even suggesting that the current race against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy should have a $6 million spending cap...As for campaign finance reform, Romney called for abolishing political action committees and tightening regulations of the process by which limits on campaign contributions to individuals can be legally bypassed." (Frank Phillips, "Romney, Vowing To Live It, Touts Congress Reform Plan," Boston Globe, 7/7/94)

 

Video from 1994: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM0x8WnI4to

 

Hypocritically, Romney has already contributed $17.5 million to his presidential campaign.

 

Romney's History Of Support For Campaign Finance Reform

 

The campaign finance provisions Romney supported in 1994 and 2002 were similar to what was initially included in the federal legislation.

 

"A Boston Globe article from July 1994 reported that Romney publicly advocated placing spending limits on congressional campaigns and abolishing political action committees (PACs).  McCain and his allies on campaign finance included similar proposals in the first campaign-finance reform package they introduced in Congress in 1995, said Meredith McGehee, policy director of the Campaign Legal Center, who was at the center of the fight to pass the changes. McCain and his allies later dropped the spending limit s and PAC ban because they proved to be too controversial, she said." (Alexander Bolton, "Romney's About-Face On Campaign Funding," The Hill, 2/8/07)

 

In fact, Romney's proposals were even more stringent than what was included in McCain's legislation.

 

"Back then [since his days as a Senate and gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts], Romney advocated more stringent measures than McCain-Feingold ultimately included, such as a spending limit for federal elections and a tax on political contributions." (Eric Moskowitz, "Romney, McCain Spar On Campaign Finance," Concord Monitor, 4/27/07)

 

When running for the Senate in 1994 and for Governor in 2002, Romney supported campaign finance restrictions including a 10-percent tax on campaign contributions and the abolition of PACs.

 

"Massachusetts Romney called for spending limits on candidates and a 10 percent tax on campaign contributions for state elections to finance publicly funded campaigns. Massachusetts Romney wanted to abolish political action committees because they wield too much power, and he bemoaned the influence of money in politics." (Editorial, "Campaign Finance Flip," Washington Post, 5/26/07).

 

During his 1994 campaign, he bemoaned "the influence of money," spoke out against increasingly larger contribution limits, and called for campaign spending limits.

 

"These kinds of associations between money and politics in my view are wrong.  And for that reason, I would like to have campaign spending limits...I also would abolish PACS...I don't like the influence of money, whether it's business, labor or any other group, I do not like that kind of influence.  Lobbyists I want to register, I want to know who they are, I want to ensure that gifts are limited...I think that contributions are fine, I just don't want them to be larger and larger...The kinds of demand s that are being placed on the economics of running a campaign suggest an increasing power on the part of money, and I think it's wrong and we've got to change it." (Mitt Romney for Senate Press Conference Video 1994, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktH1FpNqlOc, accessed 7/19/07)

 

Specifically, he wanted a $6 million spending cap in his race against Kennedy.

 

"Romney also said he advocates spending limits on congressional elections, even suggesting that the current race against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy should have a $6 million spending cap...As for campaign finance reform, Romney called for abolishing political action committees and tightening regulations of the process by which limits on campaign contributions to individuals can be legally bypassed." (Frank Phillips, "Romney, Vowing To Live It, Touts Congress Reform Plan," The Boston Globe, 7/7/94)

 

Watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM0x8WnI4to


In 2002, he was a leading proponent of "clean election" law, which many consider to be a huge violation of free speech as it allows for public funding of candidates for state office who meet strict fundraising requirements.

 

"Hoping to broker a deal that would stave off a legislative attempt to repeal the Clean Elections law, advocates of public campaign financing are pushing for a meeting with Governor-elect Mitt Romney.  Mr. Romney campaigned in favor of Clean Elections, which provides public money to candidates for state office who meet strict fund-raising requirements." (Richard Nangle, "Clean Election advocates keep pushing; Common Cause to ask Romney's assistance," Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts), 11/14/02)

 

Also in 2002, he called for a 10 percent tax on campaign contributions for state elections to finance publicly funded campaigns.

 

"...he suggested an alternative funding method. Instead of providing campaign funds from state coffers, his plan would tap 10 percent of the fundraising of candidates who choose to raise money privately." (Richard Nangle, "Clean Election advocates keep pushing; Common Cause to ask Romney's assistance," Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts), 11/14/02)

 

When McCain Campaigned For Romney In 2002, Romney Praised McCain For Standing For "Reform And Change" Saying "Those Are My Values."

 

"Romney also praised McCain for his general reform campaign when the Arizona senator came to Massachusetts to stump with Romney just before Romney's 2002 election victory in the governor's race. 'He has always stood for reform and change. And he's always fought the good battle, no matter what the odds,' Romney said at the time. 'Those are my values.'" (Eric Moskowitz, "Romney, McCain Spar On Campaign Finance," Concord Monitor, 4/27/07)