The Koch network’s announcement that it plans to spend upwards of $900 million on the 2016 elections is a clarion call for citizen action to rescue our democracy, Common Cause President Miles Rapoport said Tuesday.
“The Iowa caucus is no longer the first stop on the road to the White House. It’s now the Koch caucus that grabs candidates’ attention – and their gratitude,” Rapoport said. “Anyone who thought that the influence of billionaires in our elections is not a problem must surely be re-thinking that position today."
The money the Koch network plans to pump into 2016 political races is nearly three times what small donors gave to the two main presidential candidates in 2012; it’s also more than what either major party spent on the 2012 elections.
Last week, Americans observed the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. More than five million people have signed petitions calling for a constitutional amendment that would overturn the ruling. An unprecedented number of members of Congress jointly filed bills that would mitigate some of the damage and restore the voices of average ordinary Americans in the political process. The package of bills includes the DISCLOSE Act, which would bring transparency to the hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in politics by undisclosed sources; the Empowering Citizens Act and the Government By The People Act, which would fix the presidential public financing system and enact a similar system for Congressional candidates; and the Democracy for All amendment, which would restore the ability of Congress and the states to set reasonable limits on the amount of money – including from corporate coffers – that influences elections.
Office: Common Cause National
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.