I am proud to join my colleagues, Senator Russ Feingold, and Congressmen David Pryce and Christopher Shays, in introducing the Presidential Funding Act of 2007.

This bipartisan bill attempts to fix our broken presidential public financing system.  The front-loaded primary schedule, the ever-increasing cost of media time, and the willingness of wealthy candidates and donors to pump tens of millions of dollars into campaigns has overwhelmed a public financing system that was built for 1976, not 2008.

The current system of public financing for presidential elections does not provide sufficient funding to make it a realistic choice for most candidates trying to compete against those who are opting out of the system and raising such huge sums from private donors.

Generally, our bill would increase spending limits and matching amounts to ensure that a candidate who opts for public financing will be competitive against a candidate who does not.

I believe that our bill takes the necessary first steps toward returning presidential elections to a time when they were about which candidate had the most attractive vision and ideas, not which candidate had the most money.  It will also help restore the public’s faith in the election process.