Stoicheff’s Reform Bill Shot Down

Rep. Jim Stoicheff made another attempt to limit campaign contributions Thursday, but his bill was again shot down by the House State Affairs Committee.

This time, the bill would have limited contributions to $1,000 for the primary and $1,000 for the general election. His previous version had been criticized for setting a $1,000 limit for the two together.

But it still didn’t fly.

Among the opponents was Rep. Tom Dorr, R-Post Falls, who said he liked the idea of campaign reform but didn’t think the bill would work.

“I’m in favor of building a bridge between Los Angeles and Hawaii, but I don’t think that will happen either,” Dorr said. He said the bill would merely require candidates to be “more creative” and encourage “planners and schemers.”

Stoicheff, D-Sandpoint, said he half expected the defeat, and partially blames partisan politics. He said the bill may not be a panacea, but it’s better than doing nothing.

Though Stoicheff conceded candidates would try to find ways around the bill, he said it would make it harder for major contributors to influence politicians and that violations could be found and exposed.


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