A new bill has been proposed by Representative Pat Fallon, a member of the House of Representatives from Texas. The bill would bar campaigns from hiring family members and domestic partners.
The bill, titled the Family Integrity to Reform Elections Act (FIRE Act, yes cringe), would bar spouses and other relatives from being paid campaign members (text of the bill here). It would also force those in office, or running, to disclose such individuals on their pay rolls and impose hefty fines on those found in violation.
Those found in violation would face fines of “not more than the greater of 200 percent of the amount of compensation paid in violation of such section or $100,000 for each violation of such section, imprisoned for not more than 2 years or both.”
The bill would be a welcome change to the nepotism so often seen in the US, on both sides of the isle. However, the question of whether it will be passed is still up in the air being that it currently has no Democratic co-sponsors.
Of course, this bill goes no where near far enough in terms of defeating corruption in the United States, as candidates are still able to take bribes (sorry “campaign contributions”). However, it could be a step towards rooting out corruption in the system and hopefully down a path towards getting money out of politics (though of course it would be a cold day in hell before most elected leaders turned off the tap of dark money into their pockets).
America desperately needs to get money out of politics and end corruption in the system. Part of this is moving towards a ranked-choice voting system that ends “spoiler” candidates and gives people true choice in elections. Another is ensuring that bribery is no longer legalized for US. “representatives,” that must also not be allowed to use their positions to enrich their families. This bill could be a step down the path leading to less corruption, and that seems an essential route for the US.
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