“The real problem in Washington today is there’s too much money in the political process. We need to go to public financing of elections.”
“At less than $1 billion per year for all congressional elections, a Fair Elections program could prove the best investment ever made with public money given the $87 billion in annual corporate welfare subsidies to major contributors.”- Christine Todd Whitman
To say the news this week is disheartening would be an understatement. Were we without a vision to restore strength to our democracy, it would be devastating. Let me explain.
The Empowering Citizens Act (H.R. 270), sponsored by Representatives David Price and Chris Van Hollen is the most comprehensive campaign finance reform legislation pending in Congress.
The new Strategic Development Coordinator will have at least 3-5 years of mid-level or higher development experience. The selected candidate will be responsible for managing the design, planning, and execution of fundraising and development activities with a focus on foundations and individual donors at all levels. ACR places a premium on collaboration between communications and development functions, and the Strategic Development Coordinator will play a key role in nurturing this critical relationship.
Americans for Campaign Reform is seeking an accomplished Manager of Me-dia/Communications who has at least 5 years of communications experience, ideally in an “in-house” role within a nonprofit or policy-oriented entity, and covering areas such as website content, newsletters, and donor communications. The ability to take knowledge and transform it into exciting and useful messages, and disseminate it to the right audi-ences through the best distribution channels is critical.
A group of over 160 prominent women today released a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the New York State Legislature urging them to ensure public financing of state elections is passed in this year’s budget. The bipartisan group of women, including Republican Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Gloria Steinem, join a rapidly growing group of national and New York leaders calling on Governor Cuomo to push for passage of his proposal to eliminate the undue influence that big money donors hold over the electoral process in New York, and for the state Legislature to support it.
In announcing the appointment, John Rauh, Chair of the Board of ACR, said, “Our Board felt strongly that the leader of ACR should have real-life experience running campaigns, raising campaign funds and serving in public office. We also agreed that a history of bipartisan, constructive movement building was vital. Barbara Lawton offers ACR all this, and more.”
Our leaders should be elected by, and accountable to, the voters based on their ideas, ability, experience, and character, not their access to individuals, entities or special interests that can give and raise large campaign contributions. A public funding system should support candidates who can show widespread support by building a base of small donor contributions.
In this brief, amicus demonstrates that the sum is much greater than that, given the possibility of a potentially unlimited number of political action committees (“PACs”) to which a contributor may make contributions up to the base limit set for contributions to such committees. Each such committee may then make contributions to individual candidates. In view of the iron rule that in political campaigns whatever may lawfully be done will be done, without aggregate contribution limits, the amount of money that a contributor can hope to direct to a chosen candidate is virtually limitless.
In a letter sent today to the five FEC Commissioners, reform groups urged Commissioners to take no action regarding the FEC Enforcement Manual until the two nominees who have been appointed to serve on the Commission are confirmed and take office
The reform groups sending the letter include Americans for Campaign Reform, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Demos, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation and U.S PIRG.
ACR supports voluntary public funding of elections through a system which encourages candidates to rely on small donations from a large number of supporters, provides matching funds to maximize the impact of small donations, requires full disclosure of money spent to influence elections, has reasonable contribution limits and provides each eligible candidate with the resources necessary to run an effective, competitive and winning campaign.