Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein reported this morning about a letter to President Obama that we signed with six other watchdog organizations. Unfortunately, Mr. Klein dismisses campaign finance reform as a "quixotic cause" because the White House will "never get the votes to truly change campaign finance laws," rendering the President's inaction, regrettably, as making "perfect sense."
Except it doesn't make sense. Our letter specifies what the President can do without going to a hamstrung, gridlocked, filibuster-it-all, do-nothing Congress.
To cut to the chase, the President pledged to make getting control of money in politics a priority in his Administration. But although he famously called out the five conservative justices for their appalling decision in Citizens United and imposed some restrictions on executive branch hiring of corporate lobbyists, he has done very little to stem the tide of big money buying up public policy.
- Submit Federal Election Commission nominees to the Senate to fill the existing vacancies; this confirmation process begins with the President, not the Senate;
- Sign this petition here asking him to so;
- Issue the Executive Order he initiated, but then dropped, that would have required government contractors to disclose their contributions to groups engaged in electioneering activities;
- Use the bully pulpit to speak out and educate the public on repairing the campaign finance laws, as he has on a number of other issues;
- Publicly support the effort to have the Securities and Exchange Commission require public corporations to disclose their campaign activities to their shareholders and the public;
- Publicly support better disclosure at the Federal Communications Commission regarding campaign ads being run by broadcasters.
At a time of unprecedented spending and rapid shifts in campaign finance law, we sorely need the leadership he pledged on these matters. The buck stops with you, Mr. President.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Money in Politics