Six years ago, the Supreme Court issued a far-reaching decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, permitting corporations to spend freely from their treasuries to influence elections. Since Citizens United was issued, special interests and wealthy, well-connected donors have poured more than $2 billion dollars of outside spending into recent federal elections, including 2016 races. A New York Times investigation last October found that a mere 158 families, along with businesses they own or control, had already contributed $176 million to support the 2016 presidential campaigns. Experts estimate that in total, candidates, political parties, and interest groups may spend up to $10 billion on federal campaigns in 2016.
Americans across the country are concerned about the influence of these special interests and wealthy donors in our political system. They’re right to be concerned.
America needs a system that rewards candidates with the best ideas and principlesnot just the person who is the most talented in raising special interest money. That’s why I reintroduced a bill last year called the Fair Elections Now Act. This legislation would establish a voluntary, small-donor public financing system for Senate campaigns.
While the Fair Elections Now Act cannot solve all of the problems facing our nation’s campaign finance system, the bill would allow us to fight back against deep-pocketed special interests by dramatically changing the way campaigns are funded.
If you are an Illinoisan visiting D.C. call my office (202-224-2152) and ask for more information on how to attend an Illinois Constituent Coffee.
United States Senator