May 17 2012
Today, Dr. Coburn sent the following letter to Democratic National Committee Chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schulz and Republican National Committee Chair, Reince Priebus, asking them to reject public financing for their respective 2012 party conventions.
“Can we agree once and for all the party is over when it comes to travel and meetings paid for by the taxpayers?”
“If you agree, I would urge you to reject the millions of dollars of public financing for your 2012 party convention provided by the federal government through the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF) and to return the money to the federal government.”
“These events will be weeklong parties paid for by taxpayers, much like the highly maligned GSA conference in Las Vegas. At a time when confidence in Washington has dropped to all time lows and the federal debt is growing by more than $1 trillion a year, we need more than election year rhetoric and political posturing. Taxpayers expect leadership demonstrated by action.”
“Surely our parties will respond by saying this money was given by taxpayers voluntarily for this purpose when they filed their tax returns. No one disputes that you are legally allowed to use these funds, but some may question whether using them this way is best for the country. To demonstrate that both of our parties are committed to fiscal discipline, it would be a great act of statesmanship to return these funds.”
Read the entire letter by clicking here.
Last year, Dr. Coburn called for the elimination of taxpayer subsidies for party conventions in his 2011 Wastebook report, citing this reportfrom the Congressional Research Service on federal funding for 2012 Presidential nominating conventions. CRS revealed approximately $34.5 million in public funds that went to 2012 conventions.
Additionally, the Republican Study Caucus (RSC) also called for the elimination of these subsidies in 2009. "Taxpayers, and their children and grandchildren, should not have to shoulder the burden of subsidies for political conventions, when such conventions could be funded by the respective parties and the political marketplace." - RSC, 11/12/2009