Bay resident named to national campaign finance study committee

Bay Village resident Susan Murnane is among 10 nationally recognized scholars and legal experts to be selected for a League of Women Voters committee on money in politics.

Are corporations people? Is money speech? Should there be limits on how much I can contribute to a candidate? On how much you can give to an interest group? Is the need to fund campaigns diverting our public servants' attention from good government?

To answer these questions and more, Susan Murnane, Bay League of Women Voters (LWV) Chapter and LWV-Greater Cleveland board member, has been named to the national League of Women Voters' Money in Politics Committee. This committee is charged with considering "the rights of individuals and organizations, under the First Amendment, to express their political views through independent expenditures and the finance of election campaign activities."

You already know that the LWV is a nonpartisan organization, and that we educate voters through our Voters' Guides and candidate forums. You probably know that we also register voters and, once registered, encourage them to vote. But did you know that we also work to influence public policy?

Every two years, the League's national convention votes on which issues are most critical to our American way of life. A team of members is appointed to study these issues in depth. Their results are presented to local Leagues all over the country, and starting from these grass roots, we develop the positions that guide our advocacy.

With only 10 members competitively selected from a national pool of scholars and legal experts, it is a distinct honor for Susan and indeed for Ohio to be included on the committee. Susan is a published legal historian who has taught courses in American history, legal history and taxation.

Previously, as an assistant United States Attorney and in private practice, she specialized in white collar civil and criminal tax litigation. Her book, "Bankruptcy in an Industrial Society: A History of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio," was released by Akron University Press on Nov. 19 and is available for purchase through the Western Reserve Historical Society. In her spare time, she goes ballroom dancing.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:35 AM, 12.09.2014