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BLOG: Time to End Unlimited Campaign Contributions in PA

By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary

April 20, 2016

Pennsylvanians need to have confidence that decisions made by their government are the product of a robust competition of ideas, not rewards for the special interests with the deepest pockets.

Right now, there are no limits on how much special interests can contribute to candidates.

As part of his “Government That Works” Reform Plan, Governor Wolf supports strong campaign finance reform that would for the first time:

  • Place limits on contributions to candidates seeking elected office
  • Implement aggregate limits for races
  • Place sensible restrictions on Political Action Committees (PACs); and
  • Strengthen reporting and disclosure requirements across the board.
  • In addition, this legislation would prohibit the use of campaign funds for personal expenses, including legal fees.

Pennsylvania is currently one of only twelve states that impose no contribution limits on individual donors. The Center for Public Integrity ranked Pennsylvania among the worst states on regulating political financing – giving us a grade of ‘F’ and a rank of 43 out of 50 states.

From Pennsylvania’s report card:

Are there regulations governing the financing of candidates and political parties?
In law, there are limits on individual donations to candidates and to political parties. NO
In law, there are limits on political action committees’ donations to candidates and to political parties. NO
In law, there are limits on lobbyists’ donations to candidates and to political parties. NO
In law, funds raised by outside groups in coordination with a candidate and then spent in support of that candidate are subject to donation limits. NO
In law, all current and former candidates/elected officials are prohibited from the personal use of campaign contributions. NO

By enacting strong new campaign finance measures, we can help restore confidence in government, and curtail the role of campaign spending in our political process.


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