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1998 Soft Money Media Campaign

Statement by Kathy Stanwick
Executive Director, Campaign Reform Project
January 21, 1998

Today the Campaign Reform Project continues its campaign to educate citizens and opinion leaders about the linkages between everyday issues, political money and policy outcomes. The series of ads that will run over the next six weeks in The New York Times is aimed at clearly and unequivocally showing that campaign contributions influence every facet of our daily lives-from the cost of goods and services to the share of taxes we pay.

The series takes direct aim at soft money-large, unregulated contributions made directly to political parties by corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals-since these donations are escalating rapidly and are exempt from federal election law contribution limitations. The national political parties brought in nearly $263 million in the 1996 election cycle up from $87 million in 1992. The Campaign Reform Project believes that banning soft money contributions and strengthening disclosure requirements are two important steps that can be taken toward meaningful campaign finance reform.

The first ad, which will appear tomorrow, serves as an introduction to the campaign. The second ad will appear on Friday. The remaining ads will appear each Thursday in the lower left hand corner of the National News pages in both the national and New York editions of The New York Times.

These ads build on those that ran in 1997 in the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and those that ran in 1996 in USA Today , The San Diego Union-Tribune, Newsday, The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times, and several Connecticut newspapers.

The Campaign Reform Project draws attention to the need for campaign finance reform through its writings, ads and other educational programs. The Campaign Reform Project has established a Business Advisory Council to help educate business leaders about the importance of campaign finance reform and to actively involve business executives in the discussions about reform.