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WMUR: Shea-Porter unveils congressional reform plan to boost transparency, end ‘revolving door’

ROCHESTER, N.H. —Democratic congressional candidate Carol Shea-Porter on Monday unveiled a comprehensive congressional reform plan to increase transparency in elections and stop the “revolving door” between Congress and the lobbying industry.

The former congresswoman is calling for legislation to require super PACs to reveal their donors and for the federal government to match small dollar donations to candidates for federal office “so our representatives spend less time fundraising and more time serving you.”

Shea-Porter is seeking her fourth term representing the state’s 1st Congressional District. She is running against Republican Rep. Frank Guinta for the fourth time. Also in the race are independents Shawn O’Connor and Brendan Kelly and Libertarian Robert Lombardo.

“I promised never to accept corporate PAC or lobbyist donations,” Shea-Porter says in a statement released first to “I’ve kept my promises to you, but Congress needs to change the way it does business. We have to shut the revolving door. We need to increase transparency in lobbying and members’ personal financial disclosure reports. And we need Congress to live within its means and set an example.”

She called for “getting rid of the perks” and an end to “the abuse of franking," which is taxpayer paid communications by congressmen.

Shea-Porter says that the most important move that can be made is a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 Citizens United decision, which ended the ban on corporate and union spending on federal elections. She would re-impose “reasonable limits on campaign spending.”

Shea-Porter would prohibit all former congressmen who become lobbyists from lobbying their former colleagues and their senior staffs for at least two years after leaving office. She would close a loophole that allows former members of Congress to direct lobbying strategy for firms within the two-year period.

Shea-Porter would also regulate congressional, taxpayer-paid mailers by restricting them to the size of a standard postcard and limit such mailers to one per quarter, in order to end the use of such mailers for de facto political purposes.

She would prevent members from using taxpayer dollars to upgrade their air travel to first class and would end funding for “luxury vehicle leases.”

She would tighten personal financial disclosure and transaction requirements for members of Congress by requiring them to report assets in $5,000, instead of $10,000, increments. And she would require filings to be made in electronic format instead of scanned, hand-written PDFs because, she said, they would be easier to read.

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