The column by Norman J. Ornstein [op-ed, Sept. 27] is the second opinion piece in the past few weeks to embrace the notion that increasing the $1,000 contribution limit would be good campaign finance reform. Despite what proponents may argue, raising the contribution limit is not an acceptable or necessary reform compromise.

Raising the contribution limit would drastically increase the proportion of money raised from the largest donors and would further solidify the influence of wealthy special interests in politics. Even under current limits, a wealthy minority is unduly funding and influencing election outcomes. The concerns of ordinary Americans, who do not have the financial means to contribute large sums to a candidate, are buried in a sea of big money.

The supposed benefits of raising the contribution limits are illusory. Candidates would not spend significantly less time fund-raising, as their opponents would continue to raise funds at the same frenetic pace. Rather, all candidates would simply raise more money.

A few weeks ago, 300 House members voted against an amendment to raise contribution limits. Reform-minded senators would be wise to follow their example and take a strong stand against an increase in contribution limits.



The writer is the democracy advocate at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit and lobbying organization.