June 23, 2004
A Tucson resident has gone to federal court to block Arizona congressional candidates from taking money from people who are not their constituents.
Chester Soling said the practice of soliciting cash from outside represented districts results in federal lawmakers paying more attention to the wishes and desires of their top contributors than those of the people they are elected to represent.
Attorney Leon Silver said that "has substantially compromised the integrity of the electoral process, reduced the average citizen’s confidence in, and damaged the average citizen’s active and alert responsibility for, the wise conduct of government, encouraged political corruption."
Silver said the system is "an imminent threat to fundamental democratic processes in every election district in the Un ited States."
The lawsuit asks U.S. District Court Judge William Browning to block anyone who is not a resident of a congressional district — or, in the case of a senator, a resident of the state — from giving to anyone who is not running in that district or state.
It similarly seeks to bar candidates from taking money from nonconstituents.
It also seeks to block candidates from spending more than $2,000 of their own money on their campaigns.
Named in the lawsuit are incumbents where Soling lives — Sen. John McCain and Rep. Jim Kolbe — and all challengers of all parties.