Money in Politics
The League supports improving methods of financing political campaigns to ensure the public's right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, and allow maximum citizen participation in the political process.
The League of Women Voters position on Campaign Finance reflects continuing concern for open and honest elections and for maximum citizen participation in the political process. Our campaign finance reform strategy has two tracks:
- Achieve incremental reforms where possible in the short term, and
- Build support for public financing as the best long-term solution.
We continue to look for ways to limit the size and type of contributions from all sources as a means of combating undue influence in the election process. Our action on this issue is built on a careful assessment of all proposed changes in campaign financing law. We continues to assess proposals to equalize government services for challengers and incumbents so that candidates can compete more equitably.
Issues we are working towards to reform money in politics in DC
Improve Disclosure: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said: “Disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way.” Citizens have a right to know who is trying to influence their vote and disclosure of donations and spending is necessary to shine a light on secret money.
Establish a Public Financing System: The League believes that public financing is the best long term solution to getting big money out of politics. States like Arizona, Connecticut and Maine have had success in public financing with state house and statewide elections.
Vote: If the American public wants to get money out of politics, it’s time to take our elections back. Voting is the most powerful form of expression that a single citizen has. When citizens vote, politicians have to listen. We must improve voter turnout and engage within our communities to combat the undue influence of money in our political system. Get registered!
LWV Study Paper
News on Money in DC Politics
- McElwee, Sean (June 23, 2016) DC's White Donor Class: Outsized Influence in a Diverse City, Demos.
- Kurzius, Rachel (May 26, 2016) Report: Majority Of D.C. Election Funds Didn't Come From Residents, DCist.
- Madden, Patrick (2014) The Cost of D.C. Council’s Power Over Contracts, WAMU.
DC Fair Elections Coalition represents groups from the environmental, labor, economic justice, social justice, faith, and good government movements. Their mission is to pass meaningful campaign finance reform in D.C. to empower everyday residents and make sure every voice is heard in our democracy.