Reclaiming Our Democracy
In the 2012 elections, the top 32 super PAC donors—giving an average of $9.9 million each, matched the $313 million raised by President Obama and Mitt Romney from all 3.7 million of their small donors.
GET BIG MONEY OUT OF OUR ELECTIONS
Special interest money has long had a corrosive effect on our politics, but in 2010, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision unleashed a new era of unprecedented spending by a handful of millionaires and corporations on our elections. Since then, we've seen the floodgates opened to waves of big money that threatens to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens in our democracy.
However, we know how to fight back: by building the case — one community, one state, even one corporation at a time — for overturning the entirety of the Citizens United decision through a constitutional amendment.
In the meantime, we're also working on several short-term strategies to stanch the flow of big money in our elections:
Taking the fight directly to corporate political donors (and would-be donors)
We’re partnering with shareholder advocacy groups in pressing corporations such as Target and Bank of America to refrain from spending on political campaigns, and we’re also supporting the Shareholder Protection Act, a bill that would require corporations to seek the explicit approval of shareholders before spending a dime in electoral politics.
Forcing political spending into the light of day
Our researchers have documented the rise of super PACs and other groups funneling secret money into our elections, exposing some of the funding sources for these campaign finance behemoths, but we're also prodding our state and federal lawmakers to implement more thorough disclosure laws.
Amplifying the power of small donors
Encouraging millions of everyday Americans to make small contributions can help counterbalance the influence of special interests in our elections. We are working with federal and state legislators to implement programs like tax credits, campaign vouchers, and matching public funds to create a swell of grassroots funding.
Ultimately, we must amend the Constitution to clarify to the Court that our democratic elections were never intended to be a tool for special interests to drown out the voices of others. California is part of a growing movement of 16 states and more than 400 communities across the country that have called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. But there is more work to be done, more doors to knock on, and more communities to organize to build the momentum it will take to boldly force big money out of our elections.
- The Cost of Running for US Senate in California
- The Money Chase: Moving from Big Donor Dominance in the 2014 Midterms to a Small Donor Democracy
- The Dominance of Big Money in the 2014 Congressional Elections
- Big Money Dominates in Congressional Primaries
- The Voting Intentions and Opinions of Students
Tools & Resources
You Can Help
We have a chance to curb the unprecedented spending by big money in our elections. Your support will help us do the research, advocacy and grassroots organizing to convince our elected officials to act.
JOIN THE CALL
Sixteen states and more than 400 communities have gone on record calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Make sure your town joins this growing movement.