Nick Nyhart is the president and CEO of Public Campaign.
Several protesters from the group 99Rise were arrested inside the Supreme Court this morning for disrupting its proceedings.
"We're taking a stand against the idea that money can buy our democracy," one of the protesters said in a statement released this morning.
Jon Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah and a 2012 GOP presidential primary candidate, joined the growing chorus of Republicans criticizing the role of money in American politics. Huntsman sees great leaders disappearing as donors force politicians to put party above country. His remarks at a college forum in Florida on today’s divisive political climate included:
George Washington University Professor John Sides has a piece on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Blog arguing that public financing of elections, those systems that encourage candidates to raise small contributions from a broad base of supporters, make legislatures more polarized (and, that such polarization is a bad thing).
First, America is increasingly polarized.
Sen. Ed Youngblood is currently serving his third term in the Maine State Senate. A Republican representing 22 communities in central Maine, Youngblood has run all three times using Maine’s Clean Election system. We spoke with Sen. Youngblood on running as a Clean Election candidate before and after recent court decisions, and what comes next for the Maine Clean Election act. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
The fight to reduce the influence of big money in politics is also the fight for more racial justice, says an important new report released by Demos last week. In collaboration with a number of organizations, including Public Campaign, Demos assembled compelling information on the racial bias inherent in the way political leaders gain power and make policy, with devastating affects on the lives of people of color in particular.
If you believe the explosive manufacturers lobby, you might think the federal government wants to ruin the Fourth of July. The lobby, represented by the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME), argues that burdensome regulations are keeping vehicles off the road that should be delivering fireworks to your Independence Day celebration.
This year, voters elected nearly 300 candidates who ran using “clean election” type programs in Arizona, Connecticut, and Maine. These were candidates who relied on public grants after raising a minimum of small donations. Clean candidates can focus on broad support, often one voter and small donation at a time, not exclusive fundraisers. In Connecticut, 84% of winners ran “clean,” and in Maine, 58% of winning campaigns used the Clean Elections program, according to an analysis of state records.
Bob Herbert and Randi Weingarten agree that reducing the influence of big money in politics would positively impact nearly every social justice cause in America. Herbert, a former New York Timescolumnist, and Weingarten, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president, shared this sentiment in front of several dozen educators, union activists, and progressives at a Dec. 1 event for Herbert’s new book, Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America.
Connecticut’s 2014 general election results demonstrates the continued popularity and effectiveness of the state’s Citizens’ Election Program (CEP), a system that allows candidates to run for office with a mixture of small donations and public funds. This year, a resounding 84% of winners in Connecticut state races used the program.