STATEMENT: CAP’s Sam Berger Applauds Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Clean Elections Act
Washington, D.C. — Today, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Clean Elections Act, a bill that would allow federal candidates to run their campaigns without any money from big donors or special interests by opting into a public financing system. Under the proposed bill, all eligible Americans would receive publicly financed “democracy dollars” that they could then use to support the federal candidates of their choice during the campaign season.
Passing the Clean Elections Act would mean that elected officials would no longer have to be beholden to the demands of big donors—who comprise less than 0.5 percent of the population but contribute more than 70 percent of all political donations—and instead would be accountable only to the American people.
Following the introduction of the bill, Sam Berger, vice president of Democracy and Government Reform at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
The public is demanding an end to the link between money and political power, and it is exciting to see that leaders in Congress are responding—first with congressional Democrats’ pathbreaking For the People Act, and now with Sen. Gillibrand’s Clean Elections Act.
Across all of the issues that Americans care about—from lowering drug prices, to background checks for gun purchases, to protecting workers and the environment—big money and special interests have stood in the way of progress. The Clean Elections Act would help fix our broken campaign finance system, which is exactly the type of innovative solution that we need to return power to the people. It is only by taking these bold steps that the American people can ensure that members of Congress will serve their interests. The Center for American Progress is proud to have helped Sen. Gillibrand develop this important proposal.
- The Small-Donor Antidote to Big-Donor Politics by Alex Tausanovitch and James Lagasse
- The Anti-Corruption Congress by Alex Tausanovitch, Will Ragland, and Aadam Barclay
- Lessons From Watergate by Sam Berger and Alex Tausanovitch
- How Corporate Donors Get Their Tax Breaks and 5 Ways to Fight Back by Alex Tausanovitch and Liz Kennedy
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