Big Money is polluting our politics and creating an election climate that's toxic to the health of our planet and people. Sign here to ask all candidates for president to endorse the Fight Big Money agenda.
In the 1970s, environmental legislation that protected wild places, cleaned up the air or protected our water from pollution was a bi-partisan issue. It was Richard Nixon, not known for working well with his political opponents, who created the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA.
But a quick look at the current mix of reality TV stars and aging heirs to fortune running for president will confirm what most of us already know: The environment and especially climate change, which is at the core of how we treat our common home, has become an intensely partisan issue. But it's not ideology driving this conflict -- most voters and experts agree that climate change is a problem that needs to be solved.1
Instead, it's money that drives the opposition to climate action. Big money donors are buying access to BOTH political parties, and forcing candidates to sign pledges and take positions that serve their interests and not the interests of people or the planet. As New York Times columnist Timothy Egan recently said: "In trying to win the support of the Koch brothers, Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have signed a pledge to do the bidding of the billionaire oil industrialists, promising to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change” ... Just pause for a second to soak in the magnitude of this sellout by these candidates to a pair of men who’ve vowed to spend $889 million influencing the 2016 election."2
If you're ready to fight back against the influence of big money, and reclaim our democracy in the name of sensible action to protect the environment and public health, click here to endorse the Fight Big Money Agenda with me today.
Created by leading experts from nonpartisan democracy reform organizations, the Fighting Big Money agenda has been hailed as the best and most comprehensive road map for reducing the influence of money in politics and giving people a real voice in our democracy.3
Any presidential candidate claiming to oppose big money in politics or the influence of wealthy special interests must lay out a concrete, detailed plan that reflects the agenda's core principles and policies:
- Campaigns funded by small donors – Amplify the voices of ordinary Americans and end the mockery of billionaire-owned elections, by creating a system of public funding for campaigns.
- Increased voter turnout – Reduce barriers to the ballot box and urge universal registration.
- Real disclosure of who is funding political ads – Use existing executive authority to require more complete disclosure of TV ad sponsors and pass new laws to let voters know who is trying to influence their vote.
- Overturning Citizens United – Use a constitutional amendment and Supreme Court nominations to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous decisions in cases like Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo, allowing lawmakers to set commonsense rules and limits for campaign donations.
- Tough enforcement of anti-corruption laws – Create an enforcement agency able and willing to crack down on violations of campaign finance laws.
If we can get even a handful of candidates for president to agree to fight big money, we can start to fight back against the corrosive effect of money on our candidates. If we do nothing, it will continue eroding the public debate and eating away at the soul of our democracy -- until there's nothing left to vote for, just a choice between corporate sponsored spokespeople who will do or say anything to get paid.
Be part of the solution, tell all the candidates for president to adopt the Fight Big Money agenda.
Drew and the Fight Big Money Crew at Environmental Action
1 - Sewell Chan, Poll Finds Global Consensus on a Need to Tackle Climate Change, The New York Times, November 5, 2015
2 - Timothy Egan, Exxon Mobil and the G.O.P.: Fossil Fools, The New York Times, November 5, 2015
3 - Brennan Center for Justice et all, Fighting Big Money, Empowering People: A 21st Century Democracy Agenda, July 2015