Political Reform and Publicly Financed Campaigns
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Sen. Leland Yee campaigned on transparency. According to an FBI affidavit, Yee accepted campaign money in exchange for favors and a promise to set up an illegal gun deal.
Recently Yee spoke to the Voice of OC, a non-profit investigative publication about money in politics. Recorded prior to his arrest, Yee speaks to the role money plays in politics and asserts that public financing of campaigns is needed to stop the influence peddling, potential for corruption and insure representation of the people.
As alleged by the FBI Yee is accused of accepting thousands of dollars in campaign money from an undercover agent, to retire his campaign debt from running for mayor of San Francisco and to fund his secretary of state campaign.
Lees interview proved Prophetic.
Half in U.S. Support Publicly Financed Federal Campaigns
Vast majority supports limiting campaign spending and contributions
Support Fair Elections Now
Politicians need huge amounts of money to wage their campaigns. And most of the money comes from wealthy folks and special interests. These contributors are just nice people, they often expect access to politicians, favorable legislation, earmarks, contracts, and more. The influence of money leaves many Americans feeling our elected officials are serving the best interests of these big donors while ignoring their best interests. Citizens who want to serve in government who don’t have access to money are unable to run for office.
The Fair Elections Now Act would give candidates $4 for every $1 they receive in small contributions so that ordinary people, not just special interests, can fund a candidate. This would make candidates focus on their voters and the issues instead of holding $1,000-a-plate dinners with lobbyists.
The Brennan Center has pioneered a clear, simple proposal — consistent with all Supreme Court rulings — to counter special interest spending: small donor public financing. Under our plan, small donations are matched and multiplied to help re-direct candidates’ attention from moneyed interests to ordinary citizens. A $50 donation in a five-to-one matching system, for example, is worth $300 to the candidate.
It’s no surprise that special interests and wealthy donors have enormous influence in Washington.
It’s time to get our elected officials out of the fundraising game and insist they do the job we elected them to do: tackle important issues and listen to their constituents.
Become a Citizen Cosponsor of the Government by the People Act, legislation to empower everyday people.
Durbin: Time Spent Fundraising “Nothing Short of Amazing”