Demos respectfully urges the Committee on the Judiciary to give swift approval to the Fair Elections Now Act.
Demos is a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization committed to building an America which achieves its highest democratic ideals - a nation where democracy is robust and inclusive, with high levels of electoral participation and civic engagement; an economy where prosperity and opportunity are broadly shared and disparity is reduced; and a strong and effective government with the capacity to plan for the future.
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. The bill will encourage congressional candidates to raise funds from their own communities in small amounts of no more than $100. Candidates who successfully inspire enough small donations, and agree not to take larger donations from private interests, will qualify for Fair Elections funding in amounts sufficient to run competitive campaigns. The bill will further encourage small donor participation by providing matching funds to qualified candidates of $5 for every $1 raised in additional small donations up to $100.
The Fair Elections Now Act will free congressional candidates from the need to raise large donations from private interests, and from the burden of constant fundraising. 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. The Fair Elections
Now Act will also empower ordinary Americans to participate politically through the 5-1 match for small donations.
Every issue of importance to our country in these difficult economic times will be positively affected by passage of the Fair Elections Now Act. Whether it is ensuring Wall Street's accountability through financial regulation; encouraging policies for middle-class job creation; addressing educational needs; restoring stability to the housing market, or protecting the environment, voters need to see that decisions in Washington are being made for the good of the public, not because of the influence of wealthy special interests that dominate campaign funding.
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.