Fresh off a Hawaii win, gubernatorial candidate David Ige lived up to his name and in a David and Goliath move, defeated Big Money funded Neil Abercrombie despite being outspent 9 to 1. But Ige is the exception. Corporate funders and the immensely wealthy few are bankrolling PACs and campaigns causing their influence to permeate lawmaking. Since the Citizens United ruling, corporations are running unchecked through the U.S. political landscape.
Polling shows that getting rid of Big Money in politics is a motivating issue for voters this election cycle. Today, the Senate is voting on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s mission is to counteract this overwhelming corporate influence derailing our democracy:
“Democrats can excite voters this November by campaigning boldly on big ideas like expanding Social Security benefits, holding Wall Street accountable, reducing student debt, and passing major political reform. Across the country, candidates in blue, purple, and red states are demonstrating that campaigning on public financing of elections and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United is the way to excite the electorate — and win elections. Campaign finance reform will be an issue on the campaign trail in 2014 like never before, and today’s vote helps fuel the fire.”
– Adam Green, PCCC co-founder
The PCCC is also working with Lawrence Lessig and his Mayday PAC (the PAC to end all Super PACs) which supports candidates of any party dedicated to reforming campaign spending. PCCC members have contributed $200,000 in small-dollar donations to MayDay PAC, which ran a $150,000 independent expenditure to help Ruben Gallego (AZ-7) win his primary against a more conservative opponent last month.
Gallego is running on reforming campaign finance:
“Corporations are not people and their ability to swing unlimited anonymous funds into our elections has a corrosive affect on our democracy. We need to overturn Citizens United and start holding corporations accountable for trying to hijack our elections.”
The MaydayPAC describes itself thusly:
The MaydayPAC is an independent political action committee (“superPAC”) that aims to elect a Congress committed to fundamental reform in the way political campaigns are funded by 2016. The PAC will operate in both the 2014 and 2016 election cycles. In 2014, it will pilot the idea of a superPAC pressing for fundamental reform, by running independent campaigns in 5 districts across the country. If successful, the PAC will organize a much larger intervention in 2016, with the objective of electing a majority of Congress that has either cosponsored, or pledged to support, fundamental reform of the way elections are funded.
MayDay PAC polling shows that the issue of Big Money campaign spending unites voters of all parties who agree that politics “is rigged for the rich and for corporate donors,” and that they are more likely to vote for a candidate with solutions to this. In a low turn-out election year, this can be a powerful motivator in getting supporters to the polls.
Hawaii’s senator Brian Schatz, fresh off a squeaker of a primary says:
“Nothing should be more powerful in our democracy than your vote. But Citizens United and the unchecked corporate money it unleashed are taking that power away. Corporations are not people and they shouldn’t be granted the same rights. We need to overturn Citizens United to make sure the voters and not corporations are in charge of our elections.”
According to PCCC a vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United will come to the floor of the Senate today. Hawaii senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono have said they will support the amendment. Do your senators support it? Call them right now and urge them to sign on.
Reprinted from DailyKos