Citizens United was Not the End. We Have Solutions for Money-in-Politics Reform!

Americans on both sides of the aisle readily point to the excessive power of money in politics as an obstacle that keeps the government from addressing the country’s most pressing challenges. And according to one poll, while 91 percent of Americans agree that money in politics is a major problem, just nine percent feel it will ever be solved.

But the truth is that the biggest roadblock to money-in-politics reform is not a lack of solutions, but the cynicism and do-nothing attitude perpetuated by those who have the most to gain from inaction.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with the Campaign Legal Center to produce ­“Blueprints for Democracy: Actionable Reforms To Solve Our Governing Crisis.” Think of it as ‘Zagat guide’ for money-in-politics reform—it outlines best ideas from across the country to tackle the insidious influence of money in politics.

Blueprints for Democracy is designed to meet the challenge of money-in-politics reform with concrete proof – proof that Americans in cities and states all over the country can make their elections more open, their campaigns more transparent and their lawmakers more accountable.

Blueprints provides an overview of how reforms have been implemented, and best practices for legislators and advocates enacting change in their local communities. Not only are these common-sense fixes enthusiastically supported by Americans of all political stripes, but in many cases, they have already been implemented and are making democracy work for everyone in states and localities around the country. Most importantly, these ideas have undergone strict legal review to ensure their constitutional viability; the resulting report lays out a suite of money-in-politics reforms that are both popular and could pass muster with the current Supreme Court.

With Congress mired in partisan conflict, Americans are looking to their states and municipalities to see reform realized. Just look at what happened on Election Day, when voters in Maine and Seattle joined a growing list of localities by taking matters into their own hands and restoring sanity to the way campaigns are funded.

“Blueprints for Democracy,” is a one-stop shop for the best working models for reform across the country. It details exactly what solving our governing crisis looks like: a democracy where everyone participates, everyone knows who’s spending what, everyone plays by the same rules and is held accountable for breaking them, and everyone has a voice.

“Blueprints for Democracy” is the best available resource for advocates, journalists, legislators and citizens who want government to represent everyone—from the local level all the way to Washington. It is just the first step in larger strategy to overcome entrenched cynicism and assist lawmakers as they push for change. As Senators Alan Simpson (R-WY) and Bill Bradley (D-NJ) say in the foreword, “The time is now. Join us in this most American fight to ensure our government of, by and for the people does not perish on our watch.”

 

We’ll be breaking down the solutions in Blueprints one by one in our upcoming blog series, so check back here for the latest. And be sure to check out BlueprintsForDemocracy.org and help us spread the word!