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Progressive group launches $3.2 million advertising buy to push federal voting law


A liberal group is launching a $3.2 million advertising campaign this week to build public support for a federal campaign finance and voting bill that advocates argue would help counter efforts in Republican-controlled states to restrict access to the ballot.

The ad from End Citizens United — shared first with CNN — ticks through changes to voting, ethics and campaign finance rules that could come about if Congress passed the “For the People Act.”

“It’s time for the people to win,” the narrator concludes.

The national TV ad buy starts Tuesday and will run through April 30. It’s part of $30 million advertising and mobilization campaign by the group and allied organizations, Let America Vote and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, to encourage US senators to back the bill.

“Now is the moment to reduce the influence of money in politics, crackdown on corruption in both parties, ensure accurate elections, and protect voting rights,” Tiffany Muller, End Citizens United’s president, said in a statement.

A hearing on the legislation is scheduled for Wednesday before the Senate Rules Committee.

Groups on the left and right are gearing up for costly battles over the Democratic-backed legislation, which would bring sweeping change to the way campaigns are funded, institute new ethics requirements for presidents, members of Congress and Supreme Court justices, expand voting access and clamp down on partisan gerrymandering.

The legislation, which passed the US House earlier this month, faces tough odds in the narrowly divided Senate, where the 60-vote threshold to end a filibuster makes it hard to overcome Republican opposition to the bill.

Around the country, Republican-controlled legislatures in key states, such as Arizona and Georgia, are moving swiftly to restrict voting after record turnout in the 2020 election saw Democrats win the White House and the majority in the US Senate.

Bills under consideration this week in Georgia would impose voter ID requirements for absentee voting, give state officials more power over local elections and make it a misdemeanor to give food and drinks to people stuck on long voting lines.

The US Senate bill would require states to have at least 15 days of early voting in federal elections, allow for automatic and same-day voter registration, restore voting rights to former felons and bar states from prohibiting mail-in and curbside voting.

And on campaign finance, the bill would require so-called “dark money” nonprofit groups that engage in politics to disclose their larger donors. It would also give federal candidates as much as a 6-to-1 match of public funds for small donations to spur more grassroots giving.

Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have cast the bill as an example of federal overreach. And the Kentucky Republican said eliminating the filibuster would lead to a “scorched-earth Senate” and “chaos.”

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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