Rep. Susan Davis Calls for Action on Campaign Finance Reform on Anniversary of Citizens United Ruling

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Washington, DC, January 21, 2016 | comments

As corporate dollars have flooded into America’s electoral process due to the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court in 2010, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) once again called for action on campaign finance reform.  Davis is a cosponsor of two bills in the House to repeal the Citizens United ruling and strengthen the voice of average Americans by allowing for congressional candidates to rely on small donor fundraising and still remain competitive in tight races.

“The American people don’t feel they have a voice and that government doesn’t function on their behalf, only a select few,” said Davis.  “A priority of the government should be to ensure people have a voice in elections because our nation is stronger when we’re all involved in the decision-making. The voices of average Americans are being drowned out by big money. There needs to be a leveling of the playing field if we are going to continue to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

The Government by the People Act would provide a My Voice Tax Credit to empower more Americans to take part in the electoral process and democratize political campaigns.  A matching fund would boost small dollar contributions helping them compete with big money donors. To qualify for the fund candidates must agree to limit the contributions from large-dollar donors.

In the final stretch of a campaign, candidates would have an opportunity to earn additional resources ensuring that Super PACs and dark money groups cannot put a muzzle on the voice of the people.

This bill is a constitutionally sound solution to the problems created by the Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates to billions of dollars in corporate money into our elections. 

On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people saying Congress cannot limit their spending on campaigns. As a result, the Citizens United case opened the floodgates to unrestricted special interest campaign spending in American elections—permitting corporations to spend unlimited funds, directly or through third parties and political action committees organized for those purposes, to influence federal elections and opened the door for the emergence of super PACs. 

According to opensecrets.org, more than $804 million was spent in the 2014 election cycle by outside sources.

Davis is a cosponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment stating that the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit Congress and the states from imposing regulations and restrictions on the spending for political activity by any corporation or other corporate entity.

Election reform and expanding access to the democratic process is a centerpiece of Davis’s work in Congress. She has introduced legislation to lift restriction on absentee voting and is a cosponsor of a number of voter empowerment bills.

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