The Federal Election Commission yesterday suggested that Congress consider increasing the government funds used to finance presidential elections and the amounts candidates can raise and spend in the primaries.
Following the nation's first publicly financed presidential election, the FEC said that the $21.8 million-per-candidate limit on government funds for the general election and the $12 million contenders can raise and spend in primaries may not be sufficient.
In its annual legislative recommendations, the FEC said funding for presidential nominees in the general election possibly should go as high as $35 million.
The FEC also said Congress should consider raising the $2 million in public financing for the national party conventions and the $12 million limit for candidates seeking the presidential nomination. The $12 million is not paid with public funds.
Other recommended changes in the campaign reform law include:
State party committees should be allowed to spend the greater of $25,000 or 2 cents for each voter on behalf of the party's presidential nominee. This would be in addition to national spending limits.
Local and state committees should be allowed to distribute campaign materials such as pins and bumper stickers without regard to the national spending limits.
Labor union and corporations should be banned from giving honoraria to candidates for federal office - an extension of the ban on campaign contributions by such groups.