Prepared by Sullivan & Mitchell P.L.L.C.

For the American Conservative Union Foundation

© 2001 All Rights Reserved

The entire report is available online at

Executive Summary

· The campaign finance reform ‘campaign’ is controlled and financed by liberal Democrats: wealthy soft money donors to the Democratic party and candidates, liberal foundations and Democratic operatives.

· The campaign finance reform network is a massive national network of liberal organizations, projects and activities that is extremely well funded.

· Since 1996, the campaign finance reform ‘campaign’ has raised and spent more than $73 million: $67.3 million by national organizations and at least $6 million at the state and local level.

· Funding the campaign finance reform campaign are a core group of liberal foundations who also finance other ultra-liberal organizations and causes, such as: abortion rights, anti-business/anti-corporate environmentalism, gay and lesbian rights, drug legalization, and gun control, among others.

· Other primary sources of funds for the campaign finance movement are wealthy individuals who are also major donors to the Democratic party and candidates, such as: George Soros, Steven T. Kirsch, and Jerome Kohlberg.

· Since 1997, George Soros has provided $4.7 million to the campaign finance ‘reform’ movement.

· In 1998, Soros funneled more than $600,000 to Arizonans for Clean Elections (ACE), which created public financing for Arizona state candidates:

Soros accounted for more than 71% of the funds to ACE.

Less than $600 was received in donations of $25.00 or less.

95% of the funding for ACE came in donations in excess of $1,000.

ACE Treasurer Gary Tredway turned out to be a Vietnam War protestor wanted for felony convictions for more than thirty years – and who received one of former President Clinton’s last minute pardons.

· In 1999, George Soros and seven wealthy friends created their own political committee, Campaign for a Progressive Future, which funded almost $2 million of political activities in 2000, including $200,000 to the Million Mom PAC.

· Steven T. Kirsch, one of the donors to Campaign for a Progressive Future, contributed $500,000 to campaign finance ‘reform’ groups in 2000.

· Kirsch personally spent $1.8 million in independent expenditures against the presidential candidacy of George W. Bush in 2000

· Jerome Kohlberg donated $100,000 to Campaign for America to buy television ads saying, "Let’s get the $100,000 checks out of politics."

· Kohlberg spent more than $400,000 of his own money campaigning against the election of Republican Jim Bunning to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 1998.

· Sen. John McCain has received several thousand dollars in campaign contributions from these same wealthy donors, one of only three Republican candidates to receive support from these Democratic partisans in recent years. The other two GOP candidates are Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and former Rep. Rick Lazio from New York.

· Since 1996, the Joyce Foundation has provided more than $1.16 million in grants to influence media coverage of campaign finance reform, including:

 $212,141 to National Public Radio;

 $41,500 to Washington Week in Review (PBS);

 $30,000 to Mother Jones to investigate contributions to House GOP freshmen in 1995;

 $200,000 to train editors and journalists on covering the issue of campaign finance.


Mainstream Americans, moderates and conservatives alike, should be very wary of the campaign finance reform ‘campaign’.

It is an ideological battle being waged by people with a decidedly liberal public policy agenda, who view changing the campaign finance rules as a means to accomplish their liberal policy objectives.

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The entire report, Who’s Buying Campaign Finance Reform, is available online at

or by contacting:

ACU Foundation,1007 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Phone: (703) 836-8602, Fax (703) 863-8606.

Cleta Mitchell, Esq., Sullivan & Mitchell, P.L.L.C., 1100 Connecticut Ave., N.W. #330, Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone: (202) 861-5900 or E-mail: