July-August 1997 Home   Newsletters

September 1997

November-December 1997

President's Message (Grace Furukawa)
Orientation Meeting (Grace Furukawa)
Vote Counts (Arlene Ellis)
In Memoriam
League Interviews Prosecutor Peter Carlisle
Public Participation - City Council Style (Astrid Monson)
From the National Office: Campaign Finance Reform
Campaign Finance Information Paper (Arlene Ellis)
Gambling Consensus
Con Con Question (Jean Aoki)
Women and Heart Health Public Education Symposium
Alana Bowman

From the National Office

Campaign Finance Reform

Once again the congressional leadership is playing games with campaign finance reform, and citizens are the losers. If Republicans and Democrats can reach agreement on a bipartisan balanced budget, why can't they reach an agreement on practical, bipartisan campaign finance legislation? The answer is they can, but as with the budget, they will have to be practical and put aside narrow partisan differences.

The solution is balanced, incremental campaign finance legislation that addresses the most egregious abuses seen in the last election. Such legislation would close the soft money loophole, which allows corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals to pour unlimited amounts of money into campaigns. And it would deal with political attack ads disguised as "issue advocacy." These ads, which escape all disclosure requirements, destroy accountability and leave citizens scratching their heads when they want to know just who is trying to influence our elections. The virtue of incremental reform is that it is both meaningful and achievable. It represents a practical middle ground that both parties can embrace.

While the amount of soft money in last year's election tripled, voter turnout declined to its lowest point in more than 70 years. It is time to put a stop to the deterioration of our political process. It's time for the politicians in Washington to put aside their partisan differences and act in the interests of our democracy. Congress must pass practical campaign finance reform. All we're asking is that our elected officials do their job

Congress Needs to Hear From You Now.

Practical campaign finance reform is gaining steam in Congress. A group of senators have announced their intention to force a vote on reform legislation in late September. These senators have also indicated a willingness to alter existing legislation along lines advocated by the League in order to improve its chances of passage. This leads us to believe that now is the time for meaningful incremental reform in this Congress. However, action is unlikely in the absence of strong grassroots pressure. Please call Senators Inouye and Akaka and urge them to vote for practical campaign finance reform legislation that closes the soft money and issue advocacy loopholes and strengthens enforcement. Call Representatives Abercrombie and Mink and tell them that the House must schedule a vote on meaningful, practical campaign finance reform, and that delay is unacceptable.

The Congress is in recess now so call them at their Honolulu offices: Inouye at 541-2542, Akaka at 522-8970, Abercrombie at 541-2570 and Mink at 541-1986.

July-August 1997 Home   Newsletters November-December 1997