In this transcript, John D. Feerick, Dean of Fordham University School of Law, co-chair of the Special Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of the Association of the Bar of New York City and former chairman of the New York State Commission on Government Integrity, moderated a six-person panel on the importance of effective and timely disclosure of campaign finances and the troublesome impact of “issue advocacy.” Under current law, advertisements that may mention candidates and/or issues are not regulated by federal law because they do not “expressly advocate” for a particular candidate to be elected. Before the panelists spoke, Mr. Feerick spoke briefly about the importance of disclosure requirements, which are designed to make public each candidates financial supporters so that voters may consider the information when assessing candidates, and thus make more informed decisions. The six panelists were: (1) Jill Abramson, enterprise editor in the Washington Bureau of the New York Times; (2) Matthew Carolan, executive editor of the National Review, columnist for Newsday and writer for the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among others; (3) Mr. Frederick M. Herrmann, Executive Director of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission; (4) Larry Makinson, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics; (5) Congressman John T. Doolittle of California and sponsor of the Citizen Legislature and Political Freedom Act; and (6) Robert M. Stern, Co-Director of the Center for Governmental Studies in California. This panel was held during From the Ground Up: Local Lessons for National Reform, a national conference on campaign finance reform held on November 9, 1998, sponsored by the New York City Campaign Finance Board and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

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