Hillary Clinton released a plan Tuesday aimed at limiting the influence of money in American politics, joining a growing chorus of voices on the left calling for campaign finance reform.
Clinton’s plan would include legislation that requires public spending disclosure, establish a small-donor matching system and support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
“We have to end the flood of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political system, and drowning out the voices of too many everyday Americans,” Clinton said in a statement. “Our democracy should be about expanding the franchise, not charging an entrance fee.”
Campaign finance reform has become a key litmus test for Democratic presidential candidates. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have also both promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would commit to overturning Citizens United, while Sanders also called for public financing of all elections.
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision effectively opened up a new wave of spending into federal elections, allowing entities outside campaigns to spend without limits. Critics say the Supreme Court decision gives outsize influence to deep-pocketed donors.
Clinton has said she would push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, an unlikely prospect given the enormous difficulty of garnering the two-thirds majority in Congress and support from three-fourths of state legislatures needed to amend the Constitution.
Federal legislation requiring public disclosure of major donors stands a better chance of being passed in Congress. Clinton also proposed matching funds system for small donations that would amplify the importance of small donors to campaigns.
Clinton’s campaign released a video Tuesday morning touting the Democratic frontrunner’s support for campaign finance reform, focusing on the backstory behind Citizens United. The case was brought over a political documentary that focused on alleged scandals around Clinton.
Campaign finance reform “starts with overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision,” Clinton said, “and continues with structural reform to our campaign finance system so there’s real sunshine and increased participation.”
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