Activists urge Sen. Joe Donnelly to back campaign-finance amendment

INDIANAPOLIS - A group of activists from national, state, and local organizations gathered outside Sen. Joe Donnelly's downtown office to urge him to support a proposal that would curb the amount of money spent on political campaigns.

Members from 10 organizations asked Donnelly to sign a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"We have to start to return sanity to the campaign finance system," activist Julia Vauhgn said.

The amendment would give Congress and the states the authority to "regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections."

It would also give lawmakers the ability to distinguish between people and corporations.

Previously, two U.S. Supreme Court rulings struck down overall limits on campaign contributions.

Ron Gay with Communication Workers of America said that many voters are discouraged by how campaigns ay influence them.

"When people go to vote, which we see that not as many people vote as they used to, especially in off-year elections, they're discouraged. They're discouraged by the money in politics and they're discouraged by the corrupting influence they see with that," Gay said.

The group delivered 20,000 signatures in support of the amendment to Sen. Donnelly's office.

Although Donnelly said he supports the amendment, the activists said they want him to be its co-sponsor.

"I'm back here in Indiana going from business to business, and my focus has been on growing the middle class and jobs here. But, I support SJR 19 and I will vote for it when I get back to Washington," Donnelly said.

Nationwide, dozens of organizations have collected 3-million signatures in support of the amendment and the U.S. Senate could vote on it as soon as next week.

Before the measure is amended to the Constitution, it would take two-thirds majorities in both the House and the Senate and three-quarters of all the states.

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