Presidential Money

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A non-partisan task force says Congress should overhaul the way taxpayers fund presidential campaigns.

President Bush has decided to opt out of the fund-matching plan, and its spending limits, for the second time. At least two of the 2004 Democratic hopefuls will do the same.

The Campaign Finance Institute says that's proof the system needs to become more attractive to candidates.

The group wants Congress to raise the taxpayer check off from $3 to $5. That alone would generate about $122 million more for the program. It also says primary candidates should get a three-to-one match for the first $100 of each contribution, rather than the current one-to-one match for the first $250. And it wants the primary spending limit raised to the same amount as the general election.

The 13-member task force includes Ohio's secretary of state, a former Republican National Committee chairman, a former counsel to the Democratic National Committee and an adviser to Senator John McCain.

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