(Note: For more information, see Jon Schwarz piece in the Intercept here)
On July 7, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa, Mason, a DM student intern at the University of Iowa, asked Secretary Hillary Clinton about her stance on public financing of elections. She replied, “I believe in publicly financed elections”.
The footage can be seen below:
Democracy Matters students are encouraged by Secretary Clinton’s statement declaring her belief in publicly financed elections. We would, however, like her to further clarify her position. We therefore pose the following questions publicly in hopes of getting a more comprehensive answer:
1. Senator Bernie Sanders signed our organization’s “Democracy Pledge” which states “I support restoring democracy by publicly financing elections and taking big money out politics”. Will you commit to joining Senator Sanders by signing the Democracy Pledge?
2. While it is great news that you “believe in public financing of elections”, those of us interested in restoring a fair democracy for all Americans are anxious to hear your specific legislative plans. Do you support John Sarbanes’ Government by the People Act? Would you make it’s passage a top priority of your administration from day 1? Why or why not?
3. In your answer to Mason you state that you would support a constitutional amendment to overturn both Citizens United and the Buckley case “if necessary”. What is your criteria for defining “necessary”. Are we already at that “necessary” point, why or why not?
4. Democracy Matters is part of a broad coalition of money in politics groups that have signed on in support of a “21st Century Democracy Agenda” which outlines the principles we collectively feel that all Presidential candidates serious about this issue should embrace. Will you commit to both filling out the coalition’s questionnaire and meeting with coalition leaders in person?
5. Will you use your voice and platform as a Presidential candidate to educate people that overturning Citizens United only gets us back to 2009, and that we need more fundamental elections reform?
6. Vice President Joe Biden recently suggested support for a “law that would get private money out of the political process”. Would you support such a law? Why or why not?