From the Virginia Chapter of American promise:
Citizens of Virginia are asking all political candidates to pledge support Campaign finance reform
RICHMOND, Virginia — The VA Chapter of American Promise, as part of a national initiative, asks all Virginia elected officials and candidates running for office, whether for Congress or state government, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, to commit to supporting campaign finance reform. Equal representation for all, regardless of wealth, is our right as Virginians. Therefore, we call on all applicants to commit to making a pledge commitment sustain:
- There “For our freedom» Constitutional amendment that allows Congress and the states to regulate election spending; and
- Comprehensive campaign finance reform in Virginia.
Since the Supreme Court of 2010 United Citizens The ruling held that campaign donations were constitutionally protected “speech,” an unregulated stream of money pouring into our elections. This has increased the influence of wealthy individuals, special interests and corporations over our system of government. The recent SCOTUS judgment Federal Election Commission vs. Ted Cruz opened the door again to unregulated money going straight into the pockets of politicians. The new ruling strikes down an anti-corruption clause (Section 304) of the Bipartisan Campaign-Finance Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Act). It allows self-financed candidates to repay any loans they agree to with the financing obtained after elections to interested donors.
It is only through a US Constitutional amendment and the introduction of common sense campaign finance laws in Virginia that we can gain control of campaign spending rules. Why should we care about the influence of money in politics?
- Affordable health policies– Between 1998 and 2002, health policy expenditures for lobbying and legislators totaled nearly $6 billion. The Influence of Big Pharma Is Why Pharmaceuticals Cost Americans 250 percent more than 130 other countries where Americans spend double or triple what Canadians and some Europeans pay for pharmaceuticals.
- Climate Change Legislation– Since 1990, the energy and natural resources sector has poured nearly $1.4 billion into the pockets of legislators across the country. In Virginia, Dominion Energy has been the largest corporate donor since 1996, moving $33.3 million in legislative campaigns. Small businesses in Virginia recognize the need for campaign finance reform in the context of climate change, acknowledging that dark money in politics hinders the technological innovation and creative investments needed to adapt to climate change.
Join the most 30 candidates/elected from Virginia, and the hundreds of legislators who signed the MoneyOut Commitment nationally. As Don Beyer, Democratic Congressman states”Elections and the political decisions that follow should be about the best ideas, not the most money. Big money in politics mocks the democratic ideal of one person, one vote”. Republican Delegate Tim Anderson was of the opinion that “Most government dysfunctions stem from the undue influence of large campaign contributions. Virginia has no limits on contributions and office holders are often installed by millionaires”.
According to a Wason Center Poll 2021, nearly 80% of Virginians want to reduce the influence of big campaign donors, while 88% want better disclosure. Yet in the 2022 Virginia General Assembly, only 3 of 24 campaign finance bills introduced passed.
Let’s ask our Virginia lawmakers to pledge to respect the voice of its citizens by signing the pledge now. To sign the commitment, click on here.