Clean Up Our Politics

Require Outside Groups to Disclose Political Spending

Working with Congress, pass new laws like the DISCLOSE Act to require additional, faster disclosure of outside spending in elections.

  • Short of a legislative fix, mandate that all government contractors and vendors disclose political spending and contributions. Require all public companies to report amounts and recipients of political spending to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Amplify the Power of Small Donors

Create a federal program that matches small donations by American citizens with public funds to amplify the impact of small donors in elections. One path to getting there is to create a government fund that would match small donations to political campaigns at an eight to one ratio, modeled off of existing programs like that in New York City.  The matching fund would be paid for by taxing the expenditures of corporate PACs.

  • Provide federal support and resources to pilot efforts in states and cities to establish “voucher” systems, like the one in Seattle, to transform campaign financing.

  • Work with Congress to fix public financing for Presidential elections and increase the amount of voluntary contributions via personal tax filings.

Prevent Foreigners from Interfering in U.S. Elections

We will aggressively enforce laws making it a crime to coordinate with foreign governments and nationals to influence our elections.

  • A revitalized Federal Election Commission will issue guidance requiring that all campaigns immediately disclose offers of foreign campaign assistance to the FBI and the public. And we will aggressively pursue state actors and others who seek to compromise the integrity of our elections.

  • Work with the political parties and private vendors to ban the use of a foreign credit card to make a donation to a U.S. office seeker.

Reverse Citizens United

Direct all resources of the federal government toward reducing the flood of corporate money that followed the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, including championing an Amendment to the United States Constitution.

  • Corporations are not people, and unlimited money on elections is not speech. In parallel with Constitutional changes, we will work with Congress to develop legislation to clarify that no corporation shall be deemed a “person” for purposes of the First Amendment.

Strengthen Ethics & Campaign Finance Laws

There are a host of reforms we can and should pursue to limit the influence of undisclosed, unregulated money from influencing outcomes in Washington. Working with Congress as necessary, we will take the following steps:

    • Reform the Federal Election Commission. Recreate the FEC from the ground up to solve the deadlock that has paralyzed the agency.

    • Stricter Super PAC Enforcement. Direct the FEC and the IRS to more aggressively enforce rules that prohibit outside groups like Super PACs from coordinating with political campaigns, and prevent charities from spending money in elections to support a candidate.

      • We will strengthen and ramp up enforcement of the coordination ban between Super PACs and campaigns to impose consequences for campaigns who attempt to coordinate with Super PACs.

      • We will also work with Congress to explore Constitutional paths to abolishing Super PACs altogether.

    • Ban Leadership PACs for Most Congresspeople. Limit “Leadership PACs”—limitless piles of campaign cash that politicians can use for any purposes—to the actual leaders of the Congress.

    • Strengthen the Office of Government Ethics. Completely reorganize the existing Office of Government Ethics and create a new independent ethics office that would have investigatory and discipline powers to enforce the federal ethics and conflict of interest rules.

    • Ban Lobbyists From Regulating Their Own Industries. Return to the Obama Administration’s policy of forbidding lobbyists from entering government to regulate the very industries they had just lobbied for.

    • Strengthen Lobbyist Disclosure. We will push Congress to pass legislation requiring members to disclose any paid lobbyist meetings on a monthly basis, and strengthen lobbyist registration and reporting rules to provide more disclosure on lobbyist activity.

    • Ban Foreign Governments From Registering Lobbyists. We will end the practice of permitting foreign governments to register lobbyists in the United States.  There is no reason we should tolerate such a practice.

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