Poll finds agreement in opposition to Supreme Court decision

    A new poll finds the majority of Delawareans, regardless of their party affiliation, don’t support a recent Supreme Court ruling on corporate campaign donations.

    In this age of strident political discourse, finding issues that voters on both sides of the aisle can agree on is not an easy task.  But the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that lifted restrictions on the way corporations and unions could spend money to influence elections may be one of those issues.

    A poll of 523 Delaware voters by SurveyUSA found that 61% of those surveyed don’t think corporations should be able to spend money to support or oppose candidates for public office.  12% were unsure.  The majority of Democrats (68%), Republicans (54%) and Independents (58%) opposed the decision.

    Common Cause commissioned the poll along with MoveOn.org Political Action and Public Campaign Action Fund.  Common Cause’s James Browning says the results show that a majority of Delaware residents believe the court ruling will have an influence on how campaigns are run in the future.  “I can’t think of an issue where there’s a greater degree of harmony between Republicans, Democrats and Independents right now,” said Browning.

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    Browning says Common Cause commends Delaware’s Congressman Mike Castle (R) for supporting the Fair Elections Now Act, and called on Senators  Tom Carper (D) and Ted Kaufman (D) to support the Senate version.   “The same groups who support campaign finance reform or who are interested in protecting the environment, who are interested in health care are already working with both senators on those issues.  It’s a natural fit.”

    The act would reduce the impact of bid donations by reworking campaign financing laws.  Under the measure, qualified candidates could receive a combination of “Fair Election” funding and donations of  $100 or less.   Browning says, “This bill has a lot of momentum.  Folks were already frustrated with what’s happening on Wall Street, what’s happening with soaring health care costs, and they get the connection between special interests and these problems in their own lives.”

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