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Nation’s Largest Jewish Organization Reacts to Governor Bush’s Entry to the Campaign Finance Reform Debate

Bush Proposal is "an advance," but also raises "grave concerns"

Pelavin: "We look forward to working with all candidates who pursue real reform, because the cancerous effects of unregulated money on our democracy are not a partisan issue; they are a fundamental issue of justice, fairness, and the success of the American experiment."

Contact: Jeff Mandell, (202) 387-2800

WASHINGTON, February 15, 2000 — In response to presidential candidate George W. Bush's call this morning for a ban on some soft money, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:

We welcome Governor Bush's announcement today that he recognizes the systemic problems with our campaign finance laws and that he is ready to join the debate over the how best to solve these inherent inequities. The current campaign finance system violates the fundamental principal on which democracy is based — equal representation for all citizens. Governor Bush's recognition of this fundamental fact is an advance for those who have long advocated campaign finance reform, and we sincerely hope that his support will inspire his backers — both voters and those elected officials who have endorsed his candidacy — to devote themselves to reform efforts. That said, we have grave concerns about the degree to which Governor Bush's proposals address only the edges of the problem, leaving its heart — unregulated soft money contributions — in place. All of the major presidential candidates now agree on the pressing need to reform our campaign finance system; so do majorities in both houses of Congress and a majority of the American people. We look forward to working with all candidates who pursue real reform, because the cancerous effects of unregulated money on our democracy are not a partisan issues; they are a fundamental issue of justice, fairness, and the success of the American experiment.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing its 895 congregations across North America, whose membership includes 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the 1700 rabbis of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.



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