Corporate and former corporate CEOs have sent a message to Congress to quit hitting them up for campaign cash.
Roughly 40 executives from companies including Playboy Enterprises, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's, the Seagram's liquor company, toymaker Hasbro, Delta Airlines and Men's Wearhouse sent a letter to congressional leaders Friday urging them to approve public financing for House and Senate campaigns. They say they are tired of getting fundraising calls from lawmakers – and fear it will only get worse after Thursday's Supreme Court ruling.
In the letter they claim that "members of Congress already spend too much time raising money from large contributors."
"And often, many of us individually are on the receiving end of solicitation phone calls from members of Congress. With additional money flowing into the system due to the court's decision, the fundraising pressure on members of Congress will only increase."
Among the others signing the letter are current or former executives of Quaker Chemical Corp., Brita Products Co., San Diego National Bank, MetLife and Crate & Barrel.
The letter was sent through Fair Elections Now. A coalition of good-government groups that hope the Supreme Court ruling will "lead Congress to pass public campaign financing legislation they have long been seeking."
A Senate proposal would fund campaigns with a fee on businesses that get $10 million or more in government contracts. The House would finance it with revenue from auctioning off the television broadcast spectrum, which was opened when the country switched to digital broadcasting. Spectrums are the airwaves used by the government, television and radio broadcasters and cell phone companies, among others.