Tonight Marks the Emergence of Campaign Finance as a Defining Issue

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  • Scott Swenson, Dale Eisman
Statement by Common Cause President Miles Rapoport

Tonight marks the emergence of campaign finance reform as a defining issue in the race for president. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won their victories largely by asserting their independence from the power structures and the big dollar donors that dominate their respective parties; Hillary Clinton has launched her comeback attempt by putting campaign finance reform at the top of her agenda; as the Republican field sorts itself out, don’t be surprised to see those candidates elevate the issue as well.

With the contest moving to South Carolina, Nevada and beyond, voters must hear clear and specific plans to rein in political spending and make it more transparent. We must restore balance to our campaign finance system by shifting power away from big money interests and toward everyday Americans. Slogans and platitudes will not suffice; Americans want this problem solved.

One other thing to keep in mind: It appears that today’s voter turnout set or approached a new record. New Hampshire’s decision to permit Election Day registration surely encouraged that and sets an example that should be followed by every state. But the heavy turnout tonight and last week’s strong turnout for the Iowa caucuses speaks to Americans’ frustration with business as usual in Washington and our state capitals and their hunger for leadership that delivers on America’s promise of a government that works for everyone.