When large donors dominate campaign fundraising, Californians pay the price. Recent studies show that Congress is increasingly more responsive to big money special interests at the expense of the public interest. In the 2012 elections, candidates for the House of Representatives received the majority of funds they raised from individuals from just 0.06 percent of the U.S. population. When a small number of people provide the majority of campaign funds through making large campaign funds, the issues that concern this small group receive more attention than issues that are priorities for regular folks.
The Government By the People Act, H.R. 20, would give “we the people” tools to combat this big money takeover of our democracy. Introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes, D-MD, H.R. 20 would encourage candidates for the House of Representatives to run on a mix of small donations -- $150 or less -- from individuals and grants of public funds. Donors would receive a $25 “My Voice” tax credit; their donations would be matched on a 6-1 basis, so a $150 contribution would become $1,050 to the candidate. Additional matching funds would be available to candidates who agree to accept only small-dollar donations.
To counter the power of super PACs and “dark money” non-profit groups, the bill would provide additional public grants to candidates who raise $50,000 in small-dollar donations in a 60-day “home stretch” before Election Day.
Let’s fight back against dark money. Help us pass H.R. 20 and reclaim a government that’s truly of, by, and for the people.