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 We must modernize the badly outdated presidential public financing system so that it is once again a viable option for all competitive candidates.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 Supporting the Transition Team Ethics Improvement Act (S. 2321), January 29, 2018
- Trump, Show Us Your Taxes!, March 7, 2017
- Comment to the FEC Regarding the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act (PDF), October 7, 2014
- 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
- Letter to All Presidential Candidates in the 2008 Election Urging Them to Participate in the Public Financing System, March 8, 2007