WirePOLITICS: Pelosi assigns Boyle to election reform task force

Tom Waring, the Wire

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has assigned U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-13th dist.) to serve on the Democracy for All Task Force: Restoring People-Powered Politics.

The task force will address the the United States Supreme Court decision prohibiting the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. For-profit corporations and labor unions are also permitted to spend unlimited amounts of money.

In the last Congress, the task force worked to assemble legislative solutions to reform the election and campaign finance system and make it easier for minorities and low-income people to vote. Now, it will try to pass the bills.

“Our democracy is only as strong as those who participate in it,” Boyle said. “As a young, newly elected member of Congress, I am especially aware of the impact our broken system has on young voters. Understandably, they feel disconnected and disillusioned, like their voice doesn’t matter because it is only as loud as their wallet is big. As long as campaign spending is protected like free speech and unlimited, undisclosed dark money is allowed to fund our elections, our democratic system will remain rigged to amplify the voice and influence of wealthy donors. We must commit to reengaging all citizens, making sure our doors are open and their voices are heard. I am proud of the solutions the task force and the Democratic Party are working hard for.”

When Boyle ran for Congress last year, he benefited greatly from union-funded independent expenditures.

Meanwhile, Boyle said he favors same-sex marriages, as the U.S. Supreme Court began oral arguments last week on a case that most expect will lead to legalized same-sex marriages across the country.

Boyle believes it is discriminatory for states to prohibit same-sex marriages or not to recognize such marriages from other states.

“Equal protection means marriage equality, simple as that,” he said. “No state should be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them the right to marry or refusing to recognize their marriages performed elsewhere.”

In March, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid filed a brief in support of the cases that are on appeal to the Supreme Court.

The four cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky challenge state laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and deny recognition to lawful marriages

performed by other states. The Supreme Court will decide whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry and to have their marriages recognized nationwide.

A total of 167 members of the House and 44 members of the Senate signed on to the brief.