Ventura pushes campaign-finance reform

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Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is encouraging four members of the state's
delegation in the House of Representatives to help force a vote in the House on
campaign-finance reform.

'Soft money and so-called issue ads are destroying our political process,'
Ventura said in a letter. 'Minnesotans expect that their elected officials have
the courage to vote this important legislation either up or down and not hide
from having to take a tough vote on this issue.'

So far, the governor's letter has not seemed to persuade the four members of
Minnesota's House delegation -- Reps. Gil Gutknecht (R), Mark Kennedy (R),
Martin Olav Sabo (D) and Collin Peterson (D) -- who received it.

'The letter did not change Congressman Gutknecht's position or convince him
that he should sign the petition,' a spokeswoman for the representative said.
'In terms of campaign-finance reform, [Gutknecht] is supportive of the concept,
but he does not believe Shays-Meehan is a good bill.'

Reps. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) and Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) want the House
of Representatives to vote on their campaign-finance-reform bill, and they are
trying to force House leadership into the vote by gathering enough signatures on
what is known as a 'discharge' petition.

So far, the Shays-Meehan camp still remains four signatures shy. As written,
Shays-Meehan includes an amendment that would require broadcasters to sell
politicians ad time at highly discounted rates.

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