Campaign Finance Reform
We need to overturn Citizen’s United—NOW—and move toward publicly financed elections.
Proper reform of our campaign finance laws may be the most pressing issue in our democracy today. Most progressives can agree on the core tenants of our party, and the issues we must address to make America a safer, more resilient, and equitable environment for future generations. Unfortunately, due to the current financing laws in place, none of that can be accomplished in an efficient way because big money and special interest groups have paved their own path to policy making. Because of stabs at our democracy like the Citizen United decision, our voices and our votes mean significantly less than they can and should.
That being said, the most crucial step I advocate for is overturning the infamous policy responsible for the recent surge of big money and anonymous financing in politics: the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Businesses are not people, and without reasonable spending limits on corporations, individuals are put on a much lower playing field in politics. Representatives on both sides of the aisle are unable to push common sense legislation on a myriad of issues that we all care about for fear of losing donors. Special interest groups like the NRA fund campaigns across the country, giving legislators a clear reason not to take steps that benefit their constituents and the country as it would threaten their prospects of being re-elected. This is a travesty and this must end.
Ultimately I would encourage moving towards the public financing of all elections, from the school board all the way to the presidency. This is imperative to giving the average working person a real voice in politics. We cannot rely on those with special interest ties or enough money in the bank to self-fund an election to properly understand the plight of the middle class.
We can start by supporting the steps necessary to accomplish this ultimate goal, legislation like H.R. 20 - the Government By The People Act, which would allow for a six-to-one federal match of donations up to $50. This encourages politicians to reach out to their electorate and embolden groups to give small dollar contributions which could aggregate to meaningful amounts. We must support H.R. 1134, the DISCLOSE Act, which prevents “dark money” groups from having influence in federal elections by forcing 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) to disclose their underlying donors.
We know that money leads to tangible decisions in public policy, and it is our responsibility as elected officials to reveal who influences our policy-making. I have committed to pursuing small, grassroots donations, and being beholden to nobody but the people of the 4th district.