LEGISLATIVE SOLUTIONS:


It's not as if corruption in Washington began in January 2010 (after the 'Citizens United decision).

Momentum has been building around one or two innovative legislative approaches that could be enacted even in the 'Citizens United' era. i.e., they are not unconstitutional despite the fact that the Supreme Court has invalidated other campaign finance laws.



One is The American Anti-Corruption Act (AACA) which you can read about at www.Represent.Us and www.anticorruption.org.   

This bill is unique in that it will not be introduced in Congress until it has a million 'Citizen Co-Sponsors.'  It is backed by an impressive bipartisan group including Trevor Potter, lawyer for Steven Colbert's SuperPAC, former Federal Elections Commission Chair, former general counsel for the presidential campaigns of John McCain and George H. W. Bush;  Lawrence Lessig, Harvard law professor and founder of www.Rootstrikers.org; Tom Whitmore, head of the D.C. Tea Party Patriots;  leaders of the Occupy movement, and many others. 

It provides transparency, strict lobbying reforms, ends the "revolving door" problem, and uses an innovative approach to public financing of campaigns: tax rebates to every citizen who can use them to contribute to any candidate who agrees to accept small contributions exclusively.  "Citizen-funded elections" gets around the appearance of so-called government-funded elections. 

Legislators will go on record as either supporting it without amendments or loopholes, or not, so that all will know who is beholden to the corrupt system and who isn't.  Organizations promoting the AACA promise to work to unseat any politician that does not support it.


A related bill with a similar approachis the Grassroots Democracy Act (GDA) introduced by Maryland's own Congressman John Sarbanes.  The solutions in both the AACA and the GDA are promoted by reform advocates such as Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig and others. The GDA would . . .

  • Give candidates an incentive to cultivate a network of small dollar supporters by offering a financial match for grassroots donations. A 5:1 match for candidates who reject PAC money, and a 10:1 match for those who exclusively accept grassroots donations.

  • Provide "Democracy Dollars" - a $50 tax credit or voucher for Americans to use as contributions in federal elections, similar to the AACA.

  • Create a “People’s Fund” that ensures candidates running grassroots supported campaigns have the resources necessary to combat the unlimited spending of millionaires, billionaires, corporations, and special interests.

 

NON-LEGISLATIVE SOLUTIONS:

Some additional non-legislative solutions were detailed in Trevor Potter's 11-16-12 Washington Post Op-Ed:  ('How the FEC Can Stop the Tidal Wave of Secret Political Cash')  (Click here for Text version of this article)

 

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published this page in Articles and Handouts 2014-11-01 17:11:04 -0400
Get Money Out - Maryland
Working in Maryland so that all citizens have equal access to the ballot and an equal say in governance.