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In the Democratic Debate Tonight: What Will the Candidates Do to Get Big Money Out of Politics?

Allie Boldt

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that just 158 families have provided nearly half of the early money in the 2016 Presidential election. These wealthy donors, who are “overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown votersare able to spend unlimited amounts on elections because of a slew of misguided decisions by our Supreme Court. ”Not since before Watergate have so few people and businesses provided so much early money in a campaign," the NYT reports. When these super-rich gatekeepers can yell so loudly, the voices of ordinary Americans are drowned out.

The NYT report demonstrates the urgency of the problem of big money in politics. Demos has joined with a strong coalition of partner organizations to urge all of the presidential candidates to stand and work for reforms that fight big money and empower everyday Americans. Together, we recognize the people as the ultimate check on the corrosive influence of money in politics.  

The moderators of tonight’s Democratic debate should press the candidates on the specific policy solutions they propose to empower everyday Americans and get big money out of politics. What will they do, and how will they do it?

Several candidates have criticized the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United and the role that big money plays in our elections. What policies do they support to change the current system? How would they deal with the Supreme Court’s constitutional decisions that make it more and more difficult to restrict the flow of money into our elections? What about programs that amplify the voices of average Americans by matching small contributions with limited public funds?

Urge CNN to ask these questions on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at #DemDebate.