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20 March 2002

Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Oklahoma for his kind remarks about those of us who support legislation that he opposes.

It is typical of his generosity and spirit. I thank him very much.

I also want to thank my friend from Wisconsin, about whom I will speak later on today. As always, he contradicts Harry Truman’s old adage that “if you want a friend in Washington, go out and buy a dog”, because he is a very dear friend, and it has been one of the great privileges of my life to get close to him. It is a privilege knowing a truly honest man.

Mr. President, we have reached, at long last, the point when meaningful reform in our campaign finance laws is within our reach; in fact, it appears to be imminent. Although some of the measure’s detractors have argued that the American public doesn’t care about this issue, I think the outpouring of public support proves otherwise.

In an online poll conducted by Harris Interactive, 65 percent of those polled favored campaign reform to ban soft money. While my colleague from Texas, who spoke earlier, was correct in saying that we are determined, he is incorrect in asserting that we are a determined minority. In a CNN/Time poll last March, 77 percent of Americans described the current way in which candidates for Federal office raise money for campaigns as either “corrupt” or “unethical.”

There has been some shrill media opposition to this bill, particularly in the weeks since the House approved it by a vote of 240 to 189. The support for campaign finance reform that is reflected in newspapers around the country, I think, more accurately reflects the public sentiment on the issue. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that several articles be printed in the Record.

Publish Date
October 2, 2021