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Reform Jewish Movement Urges Congress To Press Ahead With Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform

WASHINGTON, June 11, 1996 -- The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing 1.5 million Reform Jews throughout North America, today reaffirms its support for comprehensive campaign finance reform and echoes the commitment of New Hampshire resident Frank MacConnell, whose question at a June 1995 press conference led to President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich's commitment to move forward toward the passage of campaign finance reform legislation.

Mark J. Pelavin, associate director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, today released the following statement on campaign finance reform:

It has been one full year today since President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich promised Frank MacConell that they would work together to clean up the campaign finance system. Yet, to our dismay, there has been no real movement on the issue of campaign finance reform 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.

We demand that Congress 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 104th Congress to put aside the partisanship which has characterized it thus far; 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 as much long-term impact as campaign finance reform.

We urge Congress and the Administration to take up the mantle of campaign finance reform once again and swiftly pass and sign a bill that, among other steps, would reduce special interest contributions, set spending limits, increase public campaign resources, and ban soft money.

The time has come, in fact it is long overdue, to fulfill the promise which President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich made to Frank MacConnell and to pass comprehensive campaign finance reform now.

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing 1.5 million Reform Jews in 850 congregations throughout North America.

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