Florida Congressman David Jolly doesn’t think he is going to be very popular with his colleagues, thanks to a new piece of legislation he is proposing. Jolly’s “STOP Act” would prohibit members of congress from personally asking for campaign contributions during working hours.
Jolly is an unusual source for legislation in support of what appears to be a progressive position. In office since 2014, Jolly has a “zero” rating from Americans for Democratic Action, the group that keeps a yearly scorecard of votes on liberal/progressive issues.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for Jolly, his legislation is likely to never see the light of day. Jolly certainly knows that, which makes this not much more than a huge piece of political grandstanding as he campaigns to be the Republican nominee for the Senate seat currently occupied by Marco Rubio. In addition, there are at least a few major problems with Jolly’s idea:
- It doesn’t go far enough. Freeing up members of congress from fund raising is a great idea, but this doesn’t address the larger problem of the influence of money on political campaigns.
- It would likely be unenforceable. How would it be possible to monitor congresspersons’ phone calls, or personal conversations with well-heeled donors?
- The Supreme Court would probably declare it unconstitutional, thanks to their prior decisions in Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United.
On its face, this sounds like a really good idea. But if he really wants to do something about getting money out of politics and freeing up congress to do their work, maybe he should consider signing on to Bernie Sanders’ effort to overturn Citizens United. But I suppose that’s a non-starter, as hiring people to solicit political contributions is about the only thing resembling a jobs program that Republicans have.
What do you think about David Jolly’s bill? Good idea, doesn’t go far enough, nothing but grandstanding, or some combination of the above?
Here’s Jolly’s video, via YouTube:
Featured image via YouTube screen capture