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OSPIRG proudly endorses the Government By the People Act, legislation introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives that would put ordinary Americans back in charge of our elections.
The bill, co-sponsored by Representatives Blumenauer, DeFazio and Bonamici, would allow candidates to run for office by relying on a large number of small donations from ordinary citizens.
“It is time to return to government of, by, and for the people, not special interests,” said OSPIRG Fellow, Evan Preston. “The Government By the People Act would reduce Congress’ dependence on big money campaign donors and help ordinary citizens get their voice heard.”
A recent report by OSPIRG and Demos found that the current post-Citizens United election system allows large donors to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. In fact, in 2012 the top 32 donors to Super PACs spent as much money as every single small donation to Obama and Romney combined, equaling the gifts of over 3.7 million Americans. Oregonians have recently taken a stand against how money flows into politics. In 2013, a bi-partisan resolution from the Oregon legislature called on Congress to stop the flood of money into politics.
The Government By the People Act would change the way our elections are financed through a combination of matching funds for small donations, and a “My Voice” tax credit. Instead of relying on Wall Street executives or lobbyists, participating candidates would rely on the ones the founding fathers intended them to represent: we the people. Here’s how it would work:
- People would be encouraged to give small contributions through two parts of the proposal: first, contributions of under $150 would be amplified on a six-to-one basis by a newly-created “Freedom from Influence Fund.” No large contributions would be matched at all.
- Second, the first $25 dollars people contribute would qualify for a “My Voice” refundable tax credit.
“The American people deserve a political system that makes sure all of our voices are heard, not just special interests that can afford to spend the most,” said Preston. “This legislation will help to make that a reality.”
Learn more about the Government By the People Act at: www.ofby.us
Your donation supports OSPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.