Four major Florida newspapers support Pinellas County U.S. Rep. David Jolly’s newly proposed “Stop Act” that would prohibit federally elected officials from directly soliciting campaign contributions.
Editorial boards from both the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune support Jolly’s proposal. The Orlando Sentinel and Daytona Beach News Journal also published editorials supporting the legislation.
“U.S. Rep. David Jolly has a big idea in a little four-page bill,” the Times editorial read. “The Indian Shores Republican wants to ban federal officeholders from directly seeking campaign contributions. It’s a long shot in an election-year Congress whose members are obsessed with raising money and self-preservation, but it is a serious proposal from a serious lawmaker that deserves careful consideration.”
The Tampa Tribune offered similar support calling on voters to demand their elected officials in Congress and the U.S. Senate support the bill in order to “bring an end to the back-room solicitations that are the status quo in Washington.”
Jolly’s Stop Act would apply to members of Congress, the U.S. Senate, vice president and president. Jolly proposed the bill after becoming frustrated with a Washington status quo that calls on lawmakers to spend four hours a day fundraising instead of working for constituents.
During a news conference announcing the event Tuesday morning, Jolly vowed to abide by the terms in his bill immediately.
Meanwhile, the Orlando Sentinel praised Jolly for his bold move.
“At a time when other candidates are capitalizing on public disgust with America’s corrupt campaign-finance system — whether it’s Donald Trump on the right or Bernie Sanders on the left — a pledge like Jolly’s could score with voters,” the editorial board wrote. “Sometimes, however, good politics is also good policy. Stepping back from personal entanglement in campaign fundraising would give federal officeholders more time to spend on what they were elected to do, and leave them less compromised in the eyes of the public.”
Support from newspapers comes as Jolly remains the clear GOP front runner in his bid for U.S. Senate. In a Florida Atlantic University poll released Wednesday, Jolly is commanding the three-way primary in the race to replace GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio with 28 percent of survey respondents supporting him.
U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera each received just 8 percent support among those polled.
“I’m not interested in playing it safe or following a conventional playbook,” Jolly said. “I’ve heard the call from my first day in office that Floridians are angry about a Washington culture more focused on self-preservation than fixing real-world problems. That’s why together we’re going to obliterate the status-quo and get Congress back to work.”
Previously, Jolly had also called on Congress to implement five-day work weeks during Session rather than accounting for travel time on Mondays and Fridays. That effort failed to gain traction.
The latest poll did not include questions about whether or not voters supported the Stop Act.