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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Democrats introduce new bill

Ohio Democratic State Senators Marc Dann and Eric Fingerhut recently announced their plan to introduce a bill that would lower campaign contributions from individuals or Public Action Committees to $2,000.

Currently the limit is $2,500, but a bill created by Republicans that will go into affect this year in March raised the limit 400 percent to $10,000.

There was a debate about what was best, but since there are more Republicans than Democrats in the Senate, they won, Dann said.

“One thing that frustrates me about Columbus is that it is pay-to-play because certain special interests are able to pass and obstruct bills,” he said. ” We need to do it to make sure legislatures aren’t tempted to vote a certain way.”

Lowering the amount to $2,000 would level the playing field and keep any one interest group from influencing state legislation, Fingerhut said.

Creation of the bill was motivated by scandals surrounding the state house including money laundering through county parties to evade state laws, Fingerhut said.

“We believe huge amounts of money is having an impact on the outcome of legislation,” he said. “There is no reason why people can give more money to an Ohio senator than to the president of the United States.”

Another provision of the Dann-Fingerhut bill is the complete and timely disclosure of contributions where previously it took up to a year to disclose information concerning donations.

This aspect of the bill allows Ohioans to gage whether the money had any influence or connection to voting, Dann said.

“Not every contribution is tempting,” he said. ” The larger the contribution, the more tempting it is to help them or not hurt them in the future.”

The idea behind this bill is that there is too much money involved in politics. The bill would allow more people to give less money, rather than less people giving more money, Dann said.

“Elections in Ohio should not be dominated by rich people and PACs,” he said. “Every time you give rich people in politics power, the system dilutes those who aren’t rich.”

In the coming weeks, the Dann-Fingerhut bill will be introduced to Congress and referred to a committee.

The two senators will then have the daunting task of convincing members to vote in favor of their bill.

“It’s not going to be easy, but it is something we definitely need to do,” Fingerhut said.

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