Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate passed today the McCain-Feingold bill on campaign finance reform in a vote of 59-41. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., voted against the measure.
Enzi said the bill did have some good provisions including the faster, more transparent reporting so that the public can see more quickly who is donating to what causes.
The following is a statement by Enzi regarding the McCain-Feingold proposal.
"This bill contains patently unconstitutional provisions. It puts heavy constraints on the public and the media, especially within 60 days of an election. I do not believe the courts will uphold this kind of blatant attack on free speech. Immediately upon being signed by the President, freedom of speech would be impaired. I do not, however, want to wait two to three years for the court to declare this bill unconstitutional. Freedom of speech has served our country well for more than 200 years.
"I don't vote for legislation that is unconstitutional.
"The McCain-Feingold legislation turns the political process over to rich individuals. If a rich person or organization decides they don't like a candidate, they can use their resources to put a poorer candidate, who depends on help from the party, in a position where they can't respond. The bill takes candidates and parties out of the mix and puts the power in the hands of rich individuals and outside organizations.
"The issue of campaign finance reform probably means less in Wyoming because in Wyoming we still have retail not wholesale politics. People meet candidates individually and talk to them face to face. The voter knows they can participate in the process. They don't have to get all their information from ads."