As we begin 2014, and the campaign season kicks into full swing, it's a good time to consider how to improve the quality of our elections. In an era of Citizens United increasingly our elections are dominated by negative advertisements from outside special interest groups. Just this week the secret donor behind an almost half million dollar last minute ad buy was revealed in the Boston Mayor's race.
The most successful recent effort to deal with this problem is the People's Pledge that Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren used in their 2012 election. That's why we're proposing one for the 2014 Rhode Island gubernatorial contest. You can read more about it from our Providence Journal op-ed yesterday.
A study by Common Cause Massachusetts found many benefits from a People's Pledge, including:
- A more positive campaign featuring fewer negative outside advertisements
- Less undisclosed money from outside Super PACs and other "dark" money groups
- More small dollar donors
We know that Common Cause members back a variety of candidates in the upcoming election. No matter who you support, encourage them to negotiate a People's Pledge. You can contact them here (listed in alphabetical order):
- Ken Block: http://www.blockforgovernor.
- Allan Fung: http://www.allanfung.com/
- Clay Pell: http://claypell.com/
- Gina Raimondo: http://www.ginaraimondo.com/
- Angel Taveras: http://angel2014.com/
Rhode Island deserves an honest debate about the issues facing this state. We need to take back our elections. That's why we need a People's Pledge.
Office: Common Cause Rhode Island