SHAWNEE — Campaign finance laws are undermined in Washington because both political parties benefit from special interest groups, independent U.S. Senate candidate Greg Orman’s campaign said. Orman, an Olathe entrepreneur, and his campaign announced his plan to reform campaign finance if he is elected to the U.S. Senate over incumbent Republican Pat Roberts.
“Survey after survey confirms Americans’ increasing distrust for Congress and the broken politics in Washington,” the campaign said Monday in a news release. “Orman believes campaign finance laws are consistently undermined in Washington because both political parties benefit from secretive special interests and political action committees, or PACs. Orman is refusing all PAC contributions during this race, but his opponent Pat Roberts has raked in more than $8 million in PAC contributions since entering the United States Congress in 1980.”
Orman’s plan for reform includes requiring full disclosure of “bundled” contributions, prohibiting lobbyists and PAC contributors when Congress is in session, prohibiting PAC and lobbyists from receiving federal contracts if they contribute to federal candidates, banning Congressional leadership PACs, passing a constitutional amendment to override the Citizens United ruling, and increasing disclosure requirements.
Pat Roberts received more than $8 million in special interest PAC money, Jim Jonas, Orman’s campaign managers, pointed out in the release.
“Over four decades in Washington Pat Roberts has taken advantage of special interest largesse like no other Kansan has done before,” Jonas said. “The $8 million Pat Roberts has taken from PACs is part of why voters wonder whether Roberts is working for Kansans or the special interests in Washington.”
In response to Orman’s plan, Robert’s campaign issued a statement saying Orman’s proposal “amounts to changing the First Amendment, stifling political speech and limiting the ability for hardworking middle class Americans to take part in the political process. [Orman] simply wants to clear the way for more attempts by self funding multi-millionaires like himself to buy Senate seats without opposition,” according to the Wichita Eagle.
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