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Sen. Whitehouse Presses Gorsuch to Answer Money-in-Politics Questions

March 21, 2017 | Laura Friedenbach

Washington, D.C. — Money-in-politics watchdog Every Voice praised Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) as a “champion for his constituents” for questioning President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on his views about the influence of money in politics at today’s confirmation hearing.

“Judge Neil Gorsuch has a record that suggests he could hand over even more power to wealthy donors and corporate interests in our elections,” said David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice. “In the face of Judge Gorsuch’s efforts to dodge questions about his views on money in politics, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse was a champion for his constituents by insisting that Judge Gorsuch make his position clear. We deserve to know whether Judge Gorsuch will defend the rights of everyday people to be heard over big donors in our elections.”

In his questioning of Judge Gorsuch, Senator Whitehouse focused on the influence of money in politics and disclosure of political spending including the $10 million secret-money campaign backing Judge Gorsuch’s nomination.

Judge Gorsuch’s record on money in politics has raised concern among legislators and a diverse set of groups representing tens of millions of Americans. During Senator Whitehouse’s questioning of Judge Gorsuch today, he introduced a letter into the record signed by over 120 democracy, civil rights, environmental, labor, and other organizations urging senators to press Gorsuch to clarify his position on money in politics.

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and 110 of his House colleagues also sent a letter to the Senate urging a thorough investigation of his views on money in politics.

As Demos and Campaign Legal Center wrote in January, Judge Gorsuch’s record suggests he would vote to give wealthy donors even more power in our elections. He believes corporations are people, has supported a legal standard that could lead to the end of contribution limits, and regularly sides with the wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyday people.

Money in politics has emerged as a key theme in Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing, with seven of nine Democratic Senators raising the issue in their opening statements.

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Every Voice is a national organization fighting for a democracy that works for everyone.