Warren targets ‘big money’ in campaigns, rules out donations from tech and bank executives

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White House hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) unveiled a sweeping new plan Tuesday to eliminate “big money” in politics, taking aim at donations from PACs and urging her fellow presidential contenders to be transparent in their fundraising.

Warren, who has made increasing transparency in politics a focal point of her campaign, said her plan would end the practice of federal candidates taking corporate PAC money and ban foreign corporate influence in U.S. elections. She would also seek to require presidential campaigns to disclose their major donors, bundlers and finance events and update campaign finance laws to address online political advertising. 

{mosads}The Massachusetts lawmaker, who has already disavowed contributions of more than $200 from fossil fuel or Big Pharma executives, said Tuesday she’s doing the same for executives at large tech companies, banks, private equity firms and hedge funds.

“Money slithers through every part of our political system, corrupting democracy and taking power away from the people. Big companies and billionaires spend millions to push Congress to adopt or block legislation. If they fail, they turn to lobbying federal agencies that are issuing regulations,” said Warren. 

“I’m proud to be running a grassroots-funded campaign for president, and I hope my fellow candidates for the Democratic nomination will do the same.” 

Warren’s plan would make it illegal for corporate PACs to contribute to federal candidates, close a loophole allowing foreign-owned or foreign-funded companies to donate to campaigns and prohibit campaign donations and political spending from being considered in the selection of an ambassador. 

To boost transparency, she would mandate presidential campaigns disclose all donors and fundraisers who are given titles, including national or regional finance committees and bundlers, modernize campaign finance laws to reveal funding behind political advertisements online and require every organization that makes an election-related expenditure to disclose their large donors. 

Warren is also calling on her fellow primary contenders to disclose any donors or fundraisers who have special titles on their campaigns and release the dates and locations of their fundraising events.

“If Democratic candidates for president want to spend their time hobnobbing with the rich and powerful, it is currently legal for them to do so — but they shouldn’t be handing out secret titles and honors to rich donors,” Warren, who has eschewed big-dollar private fundraisers, said. 

Warren is enjoying a sustained boost in national and statewide polling. She has cemented her status as a front-runner in the primary race after handful of surveys showed her leapfrogging  former Vice President Joe Biden, whom she out-fundraised by about $9 million in the third quarter of 2019.

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