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Press release/statement

Demos Joins Alec Baldwin, Sen. Durbin in support of Fair Elections Now Act

Washington DC – Today, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rep. John Larson (D-CT), and actor Alec Baldwin unveiled the Fair Elections Now Act, a bill that would change for the better the way congressional candidates finance elections. Demos, a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization, wrote a letter to the Committee on the Judiciary in support of the legislation.  

Read the full letter 

"Passage of the Fair Elections Now Act will be an enormous step forward for Americans’ confidence that their government works to serve the public interest rather than the special interests that fund campaigns," wrote Demos President Miles Rapoport. 

"Instead of spending endless evenings attending lobbyists’ receptions and hours every week dialing for dollars from high-end donors, members of Congress will be able to focus on serving the interests of their constituents — the job they were sent to Washington to do."

How the Fair Elections Now Act, or FENA, would work:

  • It’s voluntary — no candidate for Congress is compelled to use this system.
  • Candidates must raise a minimum level of small individual contributions from people in their state, in order to demonstrate viability and qualify for the program.
  • Once they qualify, candidates will abide by various restrictions and disclosure requirements.
  • Qualified candidates will receive an up-front grant for their primary campaigns, and if nominated, another grant for their general election campaign.
  • Candidates will also receive a 5:1 match for contributions of $100 or less from an individual; no individual may give more than $100 per election; that match will stop after a certain level is reached, but candidates may continue to raise donations of up to $100 per individual without a match.
  • A new commission will administer the program, including the disbursal of funds and collection of reports.
  • There is no overall spending limit. Candidates may continue to raise funds after they have reached the cap on their match.
  • Participating candidates could take only individual contributions of $100 or less for their leadership PACs.
  • No contributions, fundraising, or bundling will be allowed from PACs.
  • There will be special provisions for candidates in uncontested races (at significantly lower funding levels).

"Reform that amplifies the voices of average citizens and frees candidates from the fundraising chase has never been needed more. Demos urges the Committee to approve the Fair Elections Now Act," wrote Rapoport.

To schedule an interview with Demos experts working on this legislation please see the above contact information.