Presidential Public Funding
A record of more than $1 billion was spent by campaigns in the 2008 election. Barack Obama, then candidate for president and long an advocate for public financing of elections, opted not to use the presidential public financing system.
The system worked well for nearly a quarter of a century by limiting the amount that participating presidential candidates could spend on their campaigns. But now, after three elections in which the winner didn't opt in, it’s clear the system is broken.
Politicians need huge sums to run their campaigns and they often get the money from wealthy donors and special interests. Many of those contributors expect paybacks in the form of earmarks, contracts, or plum government appointments. Because of the corrupting influence of money, many Americans have lost faith in politics and government.
The solution is the public funding of elections. We must modernize the badly outdated presidential public financing system so that it is once again a viable option for all competitive candidates. Recently, a Presidential Public Funding Bill (PDF) (H.R. 6061, S. 3681) was introduced in Congress.
Take Action for Public Funding of Presidential Elections
More Resources on Public Funding of Presidential Elections
- Letter to Sen. Richard Durbin Urging Him to Block All Efforts to Kill the Presidential Public Financing System, September 12, 2011
- Letter to the House Opposing H.R. 359, Repealing Presidential Public Financing, January 24, 2011
- Visit WhiteHouseForSale for More Resources on Presidential Public Financing in the 2008 Presidential Election
- Press Release: Obama’s Broken Promise on Public Funding of Elections Is Disappointment; Candidate Must Champion Fixing Public Funding System, June 19, 2008
- Press Release: Notice to All Presidential Candidates: Quit Playing Politics with the Public Financing System, February 21, 2008
- Fact Sheet: How Presidential Public Financing Works, July 26, 2007
- Fact Sheet: Facts About the Presidential Public Funding System, July 26, 2007
- Fact Sheet: Challenges in the Presidential Public Financing Program, July 26, 2007
- Fact Sheet: A Short History of Public Funding of Elections in the U.S., July 26, 2007
- Fact Sheet: History of the Voluntary Tax Checkoff Program to Fund Presidential Elections, July 26, 2007
- Fact Sheet: Constitutional Issues: Public Funding, Issue Ads and Other Complications, July 26, 2007
- Fact Sheet: The Solution: Modernizing the Presidential Public Funding System, July 26, 2007
- Press Release: Much-Needed Legislation Would Overhaul the Financing of Presidential Campaigns, December 5, 2007
- Letter to All Presidential Candidates in the 2008 Election Urging Them to Participate in the Public Financing System, March 8, 2007
- Press Release: Fix the Presidential Public Funding System, January 30, 2007
- Press Release: Public Financing of Campaigns Is the Solution, Not the Problem; Fix – Do Not Abandon – the Presidential Public Funding System, January 23, 2007
- Press Release: President Should Be Elected by Voters, Not Dollars, August 1, 2006
- Press Release: Campaign Finance Reform Groups Urge All Democratic Presidential Candidates to Stay Within the $45 Million Campaign Spending Limit for the Primaries Until a Nominee Is Apparent, November 7, 2003
- Press Release: If Dean Opts Out of the Public Finance System, He Should Stay Within Campaign Spending Limits Until Democratic Nominee is Apparent, November 5, 2003
- Press Release: Presidential Public Financing Reform Project Garners Pledges From Seven Presidential Candidates to Reform and Strengthen System, November 4, 2003