House Approves Cut in Contributions to Candidate

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A campaign-finance bill that cuts in half the maximum that an individual can contribute to a candidate's campaign has been approved by the state House of Representatives. Yesterday's action came over objections from the outgoing state Democratic Party chairman, Jason Willett.

Willett sent an e-mail to lawmakers Tuesday night objecting to the proposal by House Speaker Benny Petrus that was approved in the chamber the next day on an 89-to-3 vote. Among other things, the bill would cut the maximum individual contributions to a candidate from $2,000 to $1,000. It would also prohibit contributions from two or more businesses sharing the same majority owner. Willett objected to those provisions in the e-mail he sent to lawmakers.

Willett said those provisions ensure that only the Donald Trumps and Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the world can successfully run for public office. He said they would hurt anyone who seeks to serve the public who cannot self-fund a campaign.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)