The trend over the past half century has been to allow unfettered spending in elections. This culminated in the decision made in Citizens United, allowing unlimited money to be spent by corporations in elections.
It’s no surprise that this has resulted in mega-donors flooding the pipes of our democracy.
We need to diminish the influence that mega-wealthy individuals and companies have in our elections. While we must push for a Constitutional amendment to allow our campaign finance laws to properly limit the power that the top 1% have, we must act much faster to save our democratic processes. To do so, we must make it possible for all Americans to contribute to candidates they feel strongly about, in order to drown out the voices of the few who can spend millions of dollars to influence our politicians.
The easiest way to do this is to provide Americans with publicly funded vouchers they can use to donate to politicians that they support. Every American gets $100 a year to give to candidates, use it or lose it. These Democracy Dollars would, by the sheer volume of the US population, drown out the influence of mega-donors.
Imagine running for office when every American has $100 Democracy Dollars to give to their favorite candidate. Just 10,000 supporters could mean $1 million for your campaign. Once elected, you could act primarily in the interest of the people you represent instead of appeasing wealthy donors and corporations. Calling rich people for money is soul-crushing. We’d all be better off if politicians only needed to worry about representing the people that elected them.
It has been used in Seattle to great effect, and we can take their program national to move towards publicly funded elections.
Problems to be Solved
- checkUnder current Supreme Court jurisprudence, individuals can contribute huge amounts to influence elections and politicians.
- checkAmending the Constitution to prevent this, or nominating judges to overturn it, can take decades, and this is corrupting our democracy now.
- The big problem right now with running for office is that you have to get the money on your side and the people on your side, and these are two different things. Imagine if every American had $100 Dollars to give to their favorite candidate—then if you get 10,000 people behind you, you’d get $1 million. You could then act in the best interests of the people you represent instead of sucking up to rich people and companies. Calling rich people for money is soul-crushing. We’d all be better off if politicians just needed to worry about representing the people that elected them rather than hustling for money all of the time.
- checkLimit the influence of mega-donors in our election
- checkAllow the will of the people to show through
As President I will...
- Provide every American voter with $100 Democracy Dollars for each election cycle, a voucher that they can use to support candidates of their choosing.
- This amounts to $23+ billion nationwide per election, allowing the will of the people to out-fund the $6.5 billion spent on federal races in 2016, $1.6 billion of which was Dark Money.