Politicians need big bucks to run their campaigns. They get most of it from wealthy donors and special interests. Those contributors expect paybacks in the form of special access, favorable legislation, earmarks, government contracts, or plum government jobs.
Because of this corrupting influence of money, many Americans have lost faith in politics and feel neglected by our democracy. Ordinary citizens who want to serve in government don’t have access to money and are locked out of the system, unable to afford running for office.
There is a solution: The Government By the People Act (H.R. 20) would empower everyday citizens and engage them in the political process by providing a $25 My Voice Tax Credit for campaign contributions, amplify these small-donor contributions, and give candidates the incentive to seek them out with a six-to-one match from a Freedom From Influence Fund. It also would allow candidates to earn additional public matching funds within 60 days of the election so that citizen-funded candidates can combat super PACs and outside groups.
Resources on the Government By the People Act and Public Financing of Elections
- Statement to House Administration Committee on HR 1, February 13, 2019
- Judiciary Committee Marking Up Fair Elections Act Today, December 13, 2017
- Testimony of Craig Holman, Public Citizen, regarding the Fair Elections Act of 2017 (B22-0192), June 29, 2017
- Public Citizen Applauds Sen. Tester’s Legislation to Strengthen Revolving Door Restrictions for Congress, Executive Branch, March 3, 2017
- Testimony of Craig Holman regarding the Financing of Political Campaigns Amendment Act of 2013 (PDF), July 10, 2013
- Fair Elections Now Act FAQ sheet
- Summary of the Fair Elections Now Act
– Bills H.R. 1826, S. 751, S. 752
- Home Page for Our Coalition, FairElectionsNow.org
- Statement: The Fair Elections Now Act Is a Declaration of Independence for Congress (PDF), April 12, 2011
- Letter Sen. Durbin and Rep. Larson, Applauding the Introduction of the Fair Elections Now Act (PDF), April 6, 2011
- Letter to Rep. Pete Sessions, Chair of the National Republican Campaign Committee, About the Influence of Campaign Contributions, April 28, 2010
- Testimony to Congress Supporting the Fair Elections Now Act (PDF Version), July 30, 2009
- Letter FENA Supporters in Congress Used to Urge Their Colleagues to Support the Bill, April 14, 2009
- Statement of Support by Sen. Richard Durbin’s For the Record, March 31, 2009
- FENA Voter Polling Results (PDF), February 2009