In election year, bipartisan group of lawmakers working to diminish big money in politics

Congressman Jones (R-NC) says he wants the average American to have a say in the election process.
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The power of the PAC. In a big election year, the money is flowing from all over to boost candidates and platforms. Some continue to fight against big money in politics, questioning the ethics of super PACs. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is going so far as to file a lawsuit against a major court ruling that helped bring these PACs into power.

"I see more and more legislation getting to the floor because of special interests," said Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC).

Jones is leading a group of lawmakers trying to take down super PACs. Jones wants to overturn a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling which allowed political groups not directly connected to a candidate or party the ability to raise unlimited funds.

"I want to see that people feel like their vote counts and that their $25 counts, or their $50 or whatever it might be," said Jones.

He says it’s difficult to tell whether some of these PACs are actually independent of candidates and obeying the law. He says the money drowns out average American voices.

"This is my small effort of me trying to do what is right for the average citizen of the (North Carolina) Third District and the average citizen of America who cannot write a million dollar check," said Jones.

On the other side of this coin, some folks say these super PACs help tell the truth about candidates. David Avella, Chairman of the conservative GOPAC, says groups like his help frame important discussions.

"You have to have citizens who come together, and through their own expenditures, make sure voters know the voting record of who represents them," said Avella.

Avella says without the money used to advertise and boost candidates, the candidates themselves would be the only ones shaping the discussion. He says that’s immoral.

"The only way they’re going to go away is if the Supreme Court decides they no longer view the First Amendment and free speech the way courts have ruled up to this day," said Avella.

Jones and the other lawmakers have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission. He thinks the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Read the original version of this article at www.graydc.com.



 
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