Whether or not this bill passes, it demonstrates the intolerance of the corporate-run congress toward any candidate who would actually represent we the people.
From the Libertarian Party:
Congress Attempts to Kill the "Third-Party Threat"
On February 1, congressional Democrats, led by Rep. Obey of Wisconsin, introduced a bill, H.R. 4694, that would end viable, third-party competition in races for the U.S. House of Representatives.
The bill, ironically named the "Let the People Decide Clean Campaign Act," would mandate public funds (taken from the U.S. Treasury) to candidates for the House of Representatives and forbid candidates from taking private funds such as contributions from individual donors.
The ambiguously-written bill provides funds for candidates of the "two major parties" but essentially scuttles any campaign efforts of third-party or independent candidates.
For third-party candidates to be eligible for the same funds that Republicans and Democrats would receive, they would have to obtain enough signatures to exceed 20% of votes cast in the last election within their district.
The catch under the proposed legislation is that third-party or independent candidates cannot pay petitioners to collect any signatures, making it impossible to fund their campaigns.
H.R. 4694 is yet another attempt by our politicians in office to shut down Libertarian Party candidates and other competitive third-party and independent campaigns. ...
From the Green Party:
Panic and retaliation among progressive Democrats over Green challenges are behind HR 4694, say Greens, citing the bill's prohibitive petition requirements, ban on private contributions; Greens call the bill patently unconstitutional.
The Green Party of the United States supports public financing of campaigns as one of several measures to remove the corrupting influence of corporations on U.S. politics . But Greens warned that HR 4694 uses public financing of campaigns as a cover to destroy democracy by reducing the field to two parties.
Greens called the bill patently unconstitutional and, if passed, unlikely to survive a court challenge. But Greens said that the bill is significant because of the line-up of Congress members supporting it.
The bill's eight sponsors include liberal Democrats: David Obey (Wis.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Barney Frank and James McGovern (Mass.), Henry Waxman and Bob Filner (Calif.), Steve Israel (N.Y.), and Tim Ryan (Ohio).
Mr. Obey, Ms. DeLauro, and Mr. Israel faced Green competition (Mike Miles, Ralph Ferrucci, and John Keenan, respectively) in recent elections, suggesting that their sponsorship is retaliatory. Mr. Miles is seeking the House seat again in 2006 (Wisconsin, District 7); Mr. Ferrucci is running for the U.S. Senate (Connecticut).