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David Jolly’s Stop Act gets two co-sponsors

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David Jolly‘s proposal to ban members of Congress from personally asking for campaign contributions has attracted two Republican co-sponsors.

Florida’s John Mica and North Carolina’s Walter Jones are the first members of the House of Representatives to back the Pinellas County Congressman’s plan, announced at the beginning of this week.

“Congressmen Mica and Jones understand the anger of the American people, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with them on the Stop Act,” Jolly said in a statement. “There is no legitimate reason why other colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, don’t join us in this historic effort to change Washington forever.”

“This is just one small step, and we should continue to look at other measures that bring federal campaign financing under control,” said Mica, who represents Florida’s Congressional District 7.

Jones is one of the more idiosyncratic GOP members of Congress. Although he was once so pro-Iraq war that he led the movement to rename French fries in the House cafeteria to “freedom fries,” he then became one of the most anti-war Republicans in the House.

“I am honored to join David Jolly as a co-sponsor of the Stop Act,” Jones said. “During my years in Congress, and especially during the post-Citizens United era, I have seen too many times where policy is driven by the needs of special interests, not the people. This bill would be a good first step in reducing the influence of special interests on Capitol Hill.

The Stop Act would prohibit federal officeholders from directly soliciting political contributions. Elected federal officials would still be permitted to attend fundraisers and speak to donors. Citizens would still be allowed to contribute to campaigns of their choosing. But under no circumstance would federal officeholders be allowed to ask people for campaign donations personally.

Meanwhile, the Lakeland Ledger and Gainesville Sun joined the Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Tribune, Tampa Bay Times and The Daytona Beach News-Journal in writing editorials supporting the Stop Act.

Jolly is running for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate against Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Ron DeSantis and Todd Wilcox. A Florida Atlantic Universal poll shows him leading the race with 28 percent support.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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