Three Steps I’m Taking to Try to Fix Our Broken Campaign Finance System
America’s campaign finance system is severely broken, and that broken system is hurting our democracy.
Americans deserve to know that their voices and their votes are equal to those of their fellow citizens. But today, the political system is captured by corporate special interests. This is in part because of the Supreme Court’s misguided Citizens United decision which reshaped how our political system operates — tipping the scale in favor of powerful corporate interests. That decision helped unleash unlimited dark money in politics, overwhelming the voices of everyday Americans, and having a vast impact on the policies that come out of Washington.
Americans deserve to know that their voices and their votes are equal to those of their fellow citizens. But today, the political system is captured by corporate special interests.
Recently, I have taken three key steps toward ensuring that Americans get the fair elections they deserve:
First, I joined 45 of my colleagues in introducing the DISCLOSE Act of 2017, which would increase transparency in our campaign finance system. This commonsense bill:
- Requires any organization that engages in political spending to disclose its major donors — helping to restore accountability and giving voters a better understanding of who is behind political advertising.
- Closes a loophole that exists in the current law that, despite banning foreign individuals and companies from spending money in U.S. elections, still allows domestic companies with significant foreign ownership to use dark money to interfere with elections.
Second, while the transparency the DISCLOSE Act would provide is critically important, transparency alone will not fix our broken campaign finance system. That is why I also helped introduce the Fair Elections Now Act, which would reduce the influence of big donors and corporate special interests by creating a voluntary system of public financing for Senate candidates.
Third, in order to get at the root of this problem, and ensure that corporate special interests do not control our politics, I helped introduce a constitutional amendment that would reverse the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.
Fixing the broken campaign finance system shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and I will work with anyone on either side of the aisle who is serious about standing up to special interests and getting dark money out of politics.
The future of our democracy depends on it.