The state Senate thinks more-is-more when it comes to the way political campaigns are financed. The Senate has removed any limits on candidate fund-raising and spending. But it has sharply limited independent committees which in the past could raise massive amounts of money without reporting the source, and use that money for attack ads, often distorting an opponent’s record.Senate leader Michael Gibbons (R-Kirkwood) says the old system of limiting funds for candidates let candidates escape making decisions about whether their donations were appropriate. That changes with the new proposed law.The sponsor of the bill says the costs of campaigns for the state Senate have quintupled in the 11 years since limits were put on candidate fund-raising and spending, because independent committees have no limits. Backers of the plan are not promising it will reduce campaign costs. They say it will let voters know more about who’s behind candidates and, they hope, it might reduce some of the negative stuff that has become so dominant. House members will work on the plan next.
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