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Largest Jewish Organization Calls for Vote on Campaign Finance

RAC Urges House Members to Sign Discharge Petition

WASHINGTON, April 14, 1999-The Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), which represents 1.5 million Reform Jews throughout North America, today called on members of the House to support a discharge petition that will bring the Shays-Meehan bipartisan campaign finance reform bill to the House floor.

Mark J. Pelavin, associate director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, today issued the following statement on behalf of the UAHC:

Last year, the House of Representatives passed the Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill, yet, to our dismay, the Senate was unable to overcome a filibuster. Now, in the 106th Congress, a discharge petition is necessary to bring the Shays-Meehan bill to the House floor for another up-down vote. On behalf of the Reform Jewish movement, the largest branch within America's Jewish community, I call on House members to sign the discharge petition.

From churches and synagogues across the nation, we hear that this is not an esoteric technical issue of election regulations but one that goes to the essence of the ethical and moral life of our nation. Congress must no longer postpone these reforms. The effects of present practices are pernicious, for they reduce voter access to elected officials, erode moral standards in government agencies and institutions, and breed distrust and alienation. Indeed, public opinion polls show, alarmingly, the overwhelming nature of public cynicism in government.

We ask the 106th Congress to put aside partisanship; for if this Congress really wishes to be remembered for changing the game and building a better America, then little it could do would have greater long-term impact than campaign finance reform.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, representing 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1,800 Reform rabbis in 875 congregations throughout North America.



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