There aren’t many issues that 2016 presidential candidates from Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDemocrats must have a better response on net neutrality than simply 'no' Obama shamefully lines pockets with 0K for Wall Street speech Dem senator fears Russian election interference could be ‘normalized’ MORE to Bernie SandersBernie SandersNebraska Dem chair slams Perez for dismissing anti-abortion Dems Sanders: Trump couldn't be 'more wrong' on climate Sanders on skipping WH Korea briefing: 'I did not want to be part of a photo op' MORE to Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMaxine Waters: ‘You can’t trust this president’ Obama shamefully lines pockets with 0K for Wall Street speech Dem senator fears Russian election interference could be ‘normalized’ MORE all agree are a problem. But as the candidates jockey for attention and position themselves for the primaries, each has made it clear that our system of financing political campaigns that allows unlimited corporate and special interest spending is utterly broken.
It's projected that the 2016 presidential election alone could cost $5 billion, the most expensive in history. Americans overwhelming agree the influence of money in politics is out of control. A recent poll from the New York Times and CBS News found more than 85 percent of respondents want to see an overhaul of the way our country funds campaigns. And Americans want candidates with a focus on real, comprehensive solutions – not candidates who are paying the problem lip service.
The campaign launched in August, and early videos offer a sampling of the creativity that can’t be expressed in polling data – from a guitarist singing an original song on a beach to a spoken rap focused on political donations from chemical manufacturers. While participants’ messages and styles will certainly differ, the call for action to pass the Democracy For All amendment is always the same. It’s a clear, concise and direct solution. Participants in the contest can also win thousands of dollars – with weekly winners for the next three months, multiple category winners, and a $25,000 grand prize.
The Democracy For All amendment being considered by Congress would overturn deeply flawed Supreme Court decisions and allow lawmakers to set reasonable limits on money in elections. It’s an idea whose time has come. In the five years sincethe Citizens United decision, local organizing has led 16 states and 650 cities and towns to support a constitutional amendment on campaign finance and more than 5 million Americans have signed supportive petitions. The breadth of support for reform is evident – now it’s time for our creativity to demand real and lasting changes.
Baker is the executive vice president for Policy and Program at People For the American Way and Haggin is the president of Say No to Big Money.