On January 30th, Issue One partnered with the U.S. Archives and the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC) to host a dynamic and robust discussion on the evolution and consequences of money in politics. On the 40th anniversary of Buckley v. Valeo, the case first responsible for conflating money with speech, panelists advocated for a series of reforms designed to restore legitimacy and trust in our democratic institutions.
Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus was represented by former Ambassador Tim Roemer (D-IN), former Senator Bill Brock (R-TN), former Senator Bennett Johnston (R-LA), former Congressman Tim Petri (R-WI), and were joined by the Policy Director at Campaign Legal Center Meredith McGee and moderator Jeff Shesol.
Despite partisan differences, all panelists were united in acknowledging the crisis this country faces as a result of uncontrolled influence by wealthy donors, unions, Super PACs and special interests. Senator Bill Brock stated that the problem of money in politics is, “an erosion of everything this country stands for,” while Senator Johnston remarked that unlimited independent expenditures have, “ruined the Senate as we know it.”
As documented in our Blueprints for Democracy report, solutions such as small donor empowerment, full disclosure of contributions and stronger, more enforceable accountability laws will amplify the voices of every American and ensure our most crucial problems can be solved.
You can watch the whole event here.