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“People’s Budget” Calls for Empowering Small Donors in Political Process

March 19, 2015 | Adam Smith

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) released its “People’s Budget” on Wednesday that, among other things, would create a system of small donor public financing to give a “voice to small donors that have been drowned out by dark money.”

Specifically, the budget states:

In order to establish a representative democracy that truly reflects the diversity and values of our nation the Better Off Budget provides funding for the public financing of campaigns. This gives a voice to small donors that have been drowned out by dark money. Public financing keeps politicians accountable to the voters that elect them instead of to special interest money. In the era of the devastating Citizens United decision, big money has taken the reins of our election process. It is now more important than ever to provide candidates with effective alternatives to finance their campaigns.

This paragraph is likely referring to a system similar to what’s offered in Rep. John Sarbanes’ (D-Md.) Government by the People Act, sponsored by many members of the CPC. It would allow candidates to run competitive campaigns for office by relying on a mix of small donations and public matching funds, while also encouraging more participation by everyday people through a tax credit on small donations.

This budget—which also cuts things like subsidies to politically powerful oil companies and tax breaks for private jets—is a real contrast to the one released by the House GOP on Tuesday that weakens consumer and environmental protections on the backs of hardworking Americans.

Learn more about the Government By the People Act at http://ofby.us.

Adam Smith

Adam Smith is Every Voice's communications director.

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