According to Senator Durbin, his "Fair Elections Now Act" would have four major components:
- Seed Money: Allow candidates to raise a limited amount of seed money, capped at $100 per contributor, to get their campaigns up and running
- Qualifying for Public Funds: Candidates must raise a specified number (based on the size of the state) of $5 contributions from residents of their state in order to demonstrate that they are serious, viable candidates
- Allocation of Public Funds: Once a candidate qualifies for public funding, he or she is eligible to receive a minimum of $750,000, plus an additional $150,000 for every Congressional District in the state minus one
- "Fair Fight" Funds: If a candidate is being outspent by independent expenditures or an opponent who has refused public financing, the law would match that spending dollar-for-dollar up to 200 percent of the base allocation.
Overall, it appears to be a great approach to a very real problem. It is the kind of reasonable solution that we have come to expect from Senator Durbin.