“If we want to pass progressive legislation like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, common sense gun protections, and comprehensive immigration reform, we have to start by breaking the chokehold corporate special interests have on Washington. As President, I’ll continue taking Washington’s corruption and greed head-on by making democracy reform one of my first priorities, establishing publicly funded elections, and continuing to work alongside the members of End Citizens United who are fighting to get big money out of politics.”
Leading by Example:
- Rejects contributions from corporate PACs
- Rejects contributions from federal lobbyists
- Rejects contributions from the fossil fuel industry
- Rejects help from a single-candidate Super PACs
- Supports overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision
- Supports requiring dark money groups to disclose their donors
- Supports small-donor public financing programs
- Supports requiring ad spending disclosure on social media platforms
- Supports banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists
Background on Reform:
Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand has long supported policies to end the dominance of big money in politics, back to her first campaign for Congress in 2006. She was the first member of Congress to post her schedule, earmark requests, and personal financial disclosures online. This year, she has released a comprehensive plan to strengthen our democracy with a system to empower small-dollar donors as its core. Her Clean Elections Act would give Americans “vouchers” to give to candidates who agree to strict contribution limits for their campaigns. Modeled on Seattle’s successful voucher program, the bill would turn every voter into a donor, opening up the political system and ensuring politicians were accountable only to their constituents, not special interests. “Until you go to the root of the corruption, the money in politics, the fact that Washington is run by the special interests, you are never going to solve any of these problems,” she said during the first Democratic debate in June.
In Congress, Sen. Gillibrand has authored, co-sponsored, and voted for legislation to improve transparency, empower small donors, and restore ethics and accountability in Washington. She is a co-sponsor of the For the People Act, comprehensive reform legislation introduced in the current Congress. Since 2010, she has been a co-sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act, legislation that would bring dark money into the light by requiring politically-active nonprofit groups to disclose their donors. She has also cosponsored the Democracy for All Amendment, a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision. In 2019, she authored and introduced the CLEAR Act, legislation that would require lobbyists to disclose more information about their campaign contributions.
“In the nine years since the Citizens United ruling, unaccountable money has eroded our democracy. As long as candidates continue to accept corporate PAC and federal lobbyist donations, we can’t fix what’s broken.” — Senator Kirsten Gillibrand