Presidential races

Bernie Sanders to fight for campaign finance reform

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he will introduce legislation to provide public funding for elections, saying the current campaign finance system “amounts to legalized bribery.”

“The need for real campaign finance reform is not a progressive issue. It is not a conservative issue. It is an
American issue,” Sanders said Tuesday. “Let us be frank, let us be honest,
the current political campaign finance system is corrupt and amounts to legalized bribery.”

{mosads}Sanders said he will introduce legislation once the Senate returns from recess in September and sought to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying he hopes “very much that the Republican leadership in the Senate will allow this legislation to get to the floor.”

In addition to providing public financing for campaigns, including congressional elections, Sanders said lawmakers must also pass a constitutional amendment overturning recent Supreme Court decisions that loosened campaign finance restrictions and legislation that would require wealthy donors to be disclosed.

Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, has urged his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support his forthcoming legislation, though his proposal would likely face an uphill battle in a Republican-controlled Congress.

“Every member of the Senate, every member of the House, knows how much time candidates spend on the telephone dialing for dollars. Republicans, Democrats, everybody,” he said.

Sanders’s comments on Tuesday follow a weekend town hall in New Hampshire during which he compared the current system of politicians relying on donors to NASCAR drivers that include their sponsorship on their uniforms.

“‘I’m sponsored by the Koch brothers’ or ‘I’m sponsored by Big Oil,’ “ Sanders said. “It’s a really sad state of affairs.”

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