Keeping Big Money Out of Politics
Excessive spending cannot overwhelm the flow of information
Our system isn’t working for ordinary Americans. We have the power to build a democracy that is of, by, and for the people. But big money gets in the way- it’s a problem for everyday voters across party lines. Regardless of their political affiliations, wealthy special interests look out for themselves, not everyday Americans.
Integrity & Efficiency
Election spending by outside groups, 2010–2020
Untraceable 'Dark Money' contributions
A system dominated by big money fails to represent everyday Americans.
When wealthy interests make large political contributions, it produces an unrepresentative selection of wealthy elites running for office and keeps regular people from running. A system that is dominated by big money, and special interests results in outcomes that fail to reflect the needs and concerns of everyday Americans.
We need to restore balance and create a system where every citizen has an equal vote and an equal say. We all need to vote and stand up to the billionaires and wealthy corporations who try to make us feel powerless and cynical about politics and elections.
Protecting our democracy depends on you.
Americans have successfully addressed enormous voter suppression tactics and systems before. We must continue their legacy and choose leaders who will govern for all of us, whether white, Black or Brown, young or old, native or newcomer.
Ask your candidates and legislators to:
Support Reversing the Citizens United decision.
Since the 2010 Citizen’s United decision, 20 states and over 800 local governements have called on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn it. We need the Minnesota Legislature to pass a resolution asking Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution that would declare that constitutional rights are the rights of natural persons only and provide that government may regulate political contributions and expenditures. We need to end the domination of our political system by large contributions.
End the Use of Dark Money in Minnesota
Legislation must be adopted to require the full disclosure of all contributions that support election communications. We need to know who is supporting the candidates in order to make an informed choice and to know to whom elected officials are indebted.
Keep and Improve on Public Financing in Minnesota
We need to preserve and improve our public subsidy program and our political contribution refund program that allow candidates to avoid being totally obligated to private and political action committees in order to gain or return to office. We need to adopt public financing like that in Maine and Arizona that, for example, allows full public financing to a contribution limit for candidates that forgo large contributions and PAC money.
Stop Conflicts of Interest – Stop Fundraising that Looks Like Buying Favors
We need to prohibit lobbyist contributions directly to candidates and prohibit all bundling of contributions. The revolving door between the legislature and the private sector must close. Legislators should not use their position as a stepping stone and should be prohibited from negotiating future employment while in office. They should be prohibited from accepting employment related to their legislative duties for at least one year. There should be an upper limit on contributions for the Governor’s inaugural events.
Strengthen the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board
The Campaign Finance Board has long been underfunded and understaffed. Its nine-member staff is inadequate to allow it to perform its statutory duties or to do any investigative work. A constitutional amendment should be adopted to fund the Board independently of the legislature so that it is not under the thumb of the very people it is supposed to regulate. The board should be responsible to the people of Minnesota rather than the legislature, which it regulates.
Senator Reveals ‘Dark Money MAGA Hub’
Ex-Trump Officials Promoting Election Lies
Democracy in One Book or Less
How it works, why it doesn’t, and why fixing it is easier than you think
Election Information RESources
Tuesday with a Scholar
Minnesota Secretary of State
League of Women Voters
Election Administration Explained
The court has equated money with speech, struck down political spending limits, and empowered corporations. It seems determined to entrench, and frankly celebrate, the might of big donors. That is stunningly out of sync with public opinion.
The practice is both brazen and breathtakingly simple. To work around the prohibition on directly coordinating with super PACs, candidates post their instructions to them inside red boxes on public pages that super PACs continuously monitor.
In An Era of Record Political Spending, American Promise Makes the Business Case for Constitutional Reform
While an amendment may seem like an ambitious goal, Clements says a long-term change is necessary to address the dysfunctional campaign finance model that Citizens United helped create. He notes that it has support from a large majority of Americans — including business leaders and legislatures in 22 states — of all political stripes.
A right-wing operative recently raised $1.6 billion for a new political advocacy group, Marble Freedom Trust.… These funds will be available…to pursue his latest initiative: an effort to give state legislatures unfettered authority over federal elections.
From the NYT: “All told, as of this week, corporations and industry groups gave almost $32 million to the House and Senate members who voted to overturn the election and to the G.O.P. committees focused on the party’s congressional campaigns.”
We are dedicated to educating Minnesotans about ways to maintain and enhance the democratic power of ordinary citizens.