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In the interview, Weeks pointed to a recent ACR study that showed the majority of citizens aren't making significant contributions to federal elections.

Many elected officials have told ACR that if they could worry less about raising big donations, they could spend more time on greater political concerns, Rauh and Weeks said.

Americans for Campaign Reform, based in Concord, hopes three upcoming legislative bills will restructure the financing of presidential and congressional races.

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Funding campaigns with public funds won't come directly from taxpayers. Funding for Senate races would come from a 0.5 percent fee on government contracts worth $10 million, with the fee capped at $500,000.

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Even smaller donations aren't being made very often: Fewer than 1 percent of citizens gave donations of less than $200 to political campaigns, the study said.

House races would be funded by using 10 percent of the money raised from the government selling broadcast licenses for the radio frequency spectrum.

To tilt at this large and very real windmill, Americans for Campaign Reform is taking a different approach than the ones used, unsuccessfully, by other advocates of change to the election system. Supreme Court ruling prohibits restrictions on the private financing of election advertisements that can drown out a candidate's message, the nonprofit ACR aims to make the public financing of campaigns an attractive option for those seeking office with limited funding.

Without meaningful campaign finance reform, viable candidates who can't raise millions of dollars won't even try running for office, and the country will lose, John Rauh, board chairman of Americans for Campaign Reform, said Wednesday in an editorial board interview with The Telegraph.

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Accepting public financing will cap the size of private donations that candidates receive. Each of those contributions couldn't exceed $100.

Senate and House races, at the urging of Americans for Campaign Reform.

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´╗┐Group eyes public funds for elections

A New Hampshire organization is on what looks like a quixotic mission: Reshaping the way we pay for federal elections.

president of ACR, told the editorial board. It is estimated that an elected federal official spends, on average, about a third of his or her time raising campaign money, he said.

Among other things, the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision that allows corporations to create third party political ads led campaign finance reform advocates to realize that masses of private money can't be removed from the electoral process, Rauh and Weeks said.

Not even one American in 400 made itemized donations of $200 or more to federal candidates in 2010, the study said. The few people who did make that sort of large donation were typically affiliated with major corporate interests.

"You can't buy an election," Rauh added. "You can lose it if you don't have enough resources."

To give candidates who can't amass campaign warchests a legitimate chance to win a race, ACR thinks the system needs to boost the public financing side of political races.

But the influence of special interests throwing money into elections Michael Kors Lilac Selma

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Reform would also allow incumbents to focus on more pressing political matters, Daniel Weeks, Michael Kors Iphone 6 Plus Case Black

is one of the many reasons why the system is broken, Rauh said.

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Rauh and Weeks realize they face great resistance.

As with the primary, general election candidates would also receive matching funds: $4 for every Michael Kors Uk Bags $1 raised.

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The amount of grants increase for general election races: $630,000 for the House and $1 million for the Senate. Michael Kors Backpacks Price

If change doesn't come, an imbalance in campaign funding will continue to diminish federal politics, Rauh said.

Offering federal candidates the option to accept a respectful amount of public financing will give them a chance to compete with the multitude of advertisements and fliers that are backed with private money from either campaigns or third party groups, Rauh and Weeks said.

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Funding for the program would come from fees on government contracts and the sale of broadcast spectrum, Rauh and Weeks said.

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Public funded candidates would have to participate in public debates. Candidates would also be eligible to receive discounted ad rates from media outlets.

Public financing of presidential races has a simpler formula: increasing the amount a citizen can ask to be donated on their annual tax return forms, from $3 to $6.

The bills would give candidates hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on how much they've raised privately. In return, they would have to participate in public debates and would have to cap the amount of private donations.

For congressional races, candidates would need to first collect a certain number of $5 to $100 donations totaling at least $50,000 to receive a grant from the public election system for their party primaries. House candidates would receive a $420,000 grant; Senate candidates would get $600,000.

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