Letters to Editor
Bob Fertik, Democrats.com
Show your support for Fair Elections Now Act
Illinois’ senator, Dick Durbin, has always been a progressive leader. He wrote the original DREAM Act, spearheaded the Senate’s immigration reform, and worked to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And, as the Assistant Majority Leader, he’s been one of the strongest progressive voices in the Senate.
Now Senator Durbin is taking the lead on another issue – perhaps one of the most important of our time. It’s called the Fair Elections Now Act, and if it passes, it will be the most significant step forward towards curbing the overwhelming influence of secret, special-interest money in our elections. Read more about the legislation below, then become a citizen co-sponsor.
FromÂ Dick Durbin
I love my job. I love helping solve problems and bringing about positive change for Illinois and for our country.
But there’s one part of politics that really needs to change — and that’s how we finance our elections.
That’s why, this week, I introduced the Fair Elections Now Act, a bill that would restore confidence in our broken campaign system, curb the growing influence of big money, and allow candidates to fully devote their time and energy to effectively representing their constituents.
It sounds like common sense, but the truth is, most Republican politicians hate my bill. They like the system that the Supreme Court’s misguided Citizens United decision put into place — a system that makes it completely legal for their powerful corporate friends to pour unlimited amounts of money into elections.
So I have no doubt this is going to be an uphill battle. But it’s absolutely worth fighting for before these shadowy corporate interests gain an even stronger hold on our democracy. As progressives, we must band together and build widespread grassroots support for the Fair Elections Now Act. Will you help?
The Fair Elections Now Act would encourage congressional candidates to participate in elections without taking money from special interests or big donors. Candidates instead who agreed to limit their spending to amounts raised from grassroots donors would receive grants from the Fair Election Fund and discounts on advertising.
Furthermore, the innovative “My Voice Tax Credit” would help counter the extreme influence secret big-money donors have now by encouraging more middle class folks to contribute to campaigns.
In the 2012 election season, countless shadowy right-wing groups, like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, funneled huge amounts of cash into campaigns to defeat Democrats. And because these front groups don’t have to disclose the corporations and billionaires funding them, there is zero accountability.
That system of relying on big donors is damaging to our elections process and has the potential to permanently damage our democracy.
As you can imagine, it’s not going to be easy to pass the Fair Elections Now Act — even though it would not add a dime to the deficit. Special interests are fighting tooth-and-nail to keep their secret, unregulated, manipulative practices the norm. But if we don’t fight to preserve our democratic process, there’s little we will be able to fight for in the future.
Thank you for your help on this important issue.