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Profile: Naval Appropriations Bill

Naval Appropriations Bill was a participant or observer in the following events:

The federal government enacts the Naval Appropriations Bill, the first attempt to regulate campaign finance. The bill prohibits officers and employees of the government from soliciting donations from Naval Yard workers. (Center for Responsive Politics 2002 pdf file) In 2006, historian Victor Geraci will refer to the solicitations as “shaking down” yard workers. (Geraci 2006, pp. 2 pdf file)

Congress passes the Civil Service Reform Act, also called the Pendleton Act, which expands on the previously passed Naval Appropriations Bill, which prohibited government officials and employees from soliciting campaign donations from Naval Yard workers (see 1867). This bill extends the law to cover all federal civil service workers. Before this law goes into effect, government workers are expected to make campaign contributions in order to keep their jobs. The law was prompted by the assassination of President James Garfield by a person who believed he had been promised a job in the Garfield administration. The law establishes a “merit system” in place of the old “patronage” system of receiving government posts. (Campaign Finance Timeline 1999; Center for Responsive Politics 2002 pdf file; Geraci 2006 pdf file)

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