Campaign Finance

Along with our concerns concerning Political Polarization, our concerns concerning our Campaign Finance System rank as a most serious concern. 

We, the concerned citizens of the Concerned Citizens Coalition, are most seriously concerned that our current campaign finance system creates an inherent conflict of interest for our elected officials, who are often forced to choose between what is in the best interest of the people, and what is going to fill their campaign coffers.

We are concerned that the amout of time our elected officials must spend fundraising and campaigning makes it difficult for them to focus on the hard work of governing.

We are concerned that shadowy special interest groups often with innocuous names that don't disclose their donors can threaten to spend millions on attack ads against anyone who votes against their interests.

We are concerned that these special interests are able to subvert the public interest by having an outsized influence not just what our elected officials are willing to vote for, but what sort of legislation even gets proposed. 

We are concerned that this makes it exceedingly difficult for us to address any of the other complex challenges we face as a society. 

We are concerned that the amount of money needed to compete in a political campaign prevents many concerned citizens who would make excellent public officials from running for office. 

We are concerned this system makes it particularly difficult for third party candidates to compete. 

We are concerned that we could probably find lots of better uses for the $7 billion that was spent on these past elections. 

We are so concerned that we are concerning ourselves with 

 

The Concerned Citizens Coaliton

Campaign for Comprehensive

Campaign Finance & Electoral Reforms

 

Rather than supporting any particular set of reforms, the Concerned Citizens Coalition seeks to further the conversation by examining the vast number of proposals and strategies related to these reforms, bringing groups of citizens who support such reforms together, and ultimately developing a consensus reform package. 

Many citizens believe that the most important component of these reforms will be one or more Constitutional Amendments limiting special interest influence over elections. Much is currently being done on this front: 

  • Organizations such as Move to Amend have called for specific amendments.
  • Senators such as Al Franken and Bernie Sanders, and Tom Udall actively support constitutional amendments.
  • 144 U.S. Senators and Representatives support an amendment strategy
  • 16 State Legislatures have passed resolutions calling for Congress to pass an amendment
  • 21 more State Legislatures have resolutions pending
  • Nancy Pelosi is currently pushing the DARE Act (Disclose, Amend, Reform, Empower). Critics say it has little chance of passing, though there may be a greater chance that the Disclose portion alone could make it through Congress. 
  • United for the People has developed the most comprehensive resource on this issue, with more than 150 organizations with campaigns in support of amendments, lists of passed and pending resolutions, and local, state and federal officials that have endorsed a constitutional amendment. 

Some citizens have criticized the Amendment strategy as unnecessary, while others have criticized the resolutions that have been passed for not including a call for a Constitutional Convention. Most citizens recognize, however, that many reforms can be accomplished without a Constitutional Amendment. 

In the coming months, we discuss the Amendment strategy in greater detail, exploring its pros and cons.

More on related reform topics such as gerrymandering, term limits, debate access, and single-mark ballots.