David Jolly says that he asked Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson that if they co-sponsored his legislation banning federal officeholders from directly soliciting campaign contributions, he would have been content if they continued to fundraise, even possibly against him this fall.
“I took the pledge in January. I no longer directly solicit money,” the Pinellas County GOP Congressman and Senate candidate said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “But I’d beg my Democratic opponents in this race: co-sponsor it, and I’ll get your back, and say you don’t need to take the pledge now, let’s just change the system.”
However, not only did neither of the two top Democrats in the Senate race co-sponsor the measure, but they have openly criticized it.
Jolly introduced the Stop Act in January to some media fanfare in January, but it hasn’t received much traction on Capitol Hill to date, with only six members of Congress co-sponsoring it. However, that could change with the proposal getting renewed spotlight after Jolly was interviewed about the bill on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday night.
Joe Scarborough asked Jolly on MSNBC how a candidate could get elected by shunning fundraising.
“Your campaign operation would still exist, right? You’d still have a fundraiser,” he told the MSNBC host. “You’d have a campaign manager. They could still operate the campaign committee. But the member … this is about getting back to work. Whatever your issue is as a voter — if it’s border security, immigration, tax reform — you’re frustrated because nothing’s getting done. Right? That’s because you have a Congress that’s not even doing their job.”
Jolly says he’d ideally like to ban all political advertising on television. That response came after he was asked by The New York Times Nick Confessore if he supported other campaign finance legislation that has been proposed, such as the public financing of elections.
“You know what I really want to do?” Jolly replied. “The British model. Take political ads off of television using the FCC regulation. How about that one? Right? But that will take years to get to a bipartisan campaign finance reform package. This is about getting Congress back to work. We can do this right now. If we cultivate the constructive anger of the American people that you’ve got a part-time Congress in a full-time world whose failing to even show up and do their job? We can pass the STOP Act.”
The United Kingdom bans paid TV and radio advertising on any ads on matters of “political or industrial controversy.” It’s one reason why their political campaigns are radically less expensive than American contests.
On another note, Jolly, who spent time in Pensacola after graduating from Emery University, told Scarborough that he voted for him for Congress when the MSNBC host ran for Congress in 1994.
“A lot of people don’t know this: I voted for you in 1994,” Jolly told Scarborough. “Because you went on public television these half-hour shows on public television to get your message out.”