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.
Transparency through Disclosures and Disclaimers
LWV Minnesota supports the public's right to know who is using money to influence elections. Mandatory, timely, uniform, and complete reports of campaign contributions and expenditures should be made to a central authority responsible for disseminating such information to the public. Currently, that authority is the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
Public Financing that Empowers Small Donors
LWV Minnesota supports the public financing of elections in which candidates must abide by reasonable spending limits. LWV Minnesota believes that our campaign finance system shoud combat political corruption. LWV Minnesota believes that political corruption includes:
- A candidate or officeholder agrees to vote or work in favor of a donor's interests in exchange for a campaign contribution.
- An officeholder or staff gives greater access to donors.
- An officeholder votes or works to support policies that reflect the preferences of individuals or organizations in order to attract contributions from them.
- A candidate or officeholder seeks political contributions implying that there will be retribution unless a donation is given.
- The results of the political process consistently favor the interests of significant campaign contributors.
LWV Minnesota also supports abolishing SuperPACs and spending coordinated or directed by candidates (other than by the candidate's own campaign committe). LWV Minnesota supports restrictions on contributions or bundling of contributions by lobbyists.
Strong Enforcement of Campaign Finance Laws
LWV Minnesota supports ensuring that regulatory agencies for campaign finance laws are properly funded, staffed, and structured to avoid partisan deadlock in the decisionmaking. The responsibility for reporting contributions and expenditures should rest squarly on the candidate. Penalties should be stringent enough to ensure compliance by candidates.
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.