(Note: For more coverage of this video and Donald Trump’s position on campaign finance, check out this article by Jon Schwarz of The Intercept).
At his official Iowa announcement speech at Hoyt Sherman Place in Iowa, Democracy Matters chapter President and student at Des Moines Area Community College, Kyle Chapman, asked Mr. Trump his thoughts on publically funded campaigns. What he said in response certainly surprised us. Watch the video below:
Democracy Matters has some follow-up questions for Mr. Trump:
We look forward to hearing more about what Mr. Trump and other Republican presidential contenders have to say on the topic of public financing.
Clinton: “I Believe in Publicly Financed Elections”
Iowa City, IA — Secretary Hillary Clinton became the third major Democratic Presidential candidate to declare support for publicly financed elections — a positive sign for Americans who want to see big money out of politics.
“Hillary Clinton joining Sanders and O’Malley in support for public financing of elections is a testament to the groundswell of support for elections that live up to our ideals as Americans” said Adonal Foyle, Founder of Democracy Matters “Given the overwhelming bi-partisan disgust with the influence of money in politics, we look forward to support from Republican candidates as well. The next step for campaigns is to lay out specific plans on how they hope to restore democracy. Students will be watching closely.”
Secretary Clinton laid out her position in response to a question from Mason Buonadonna, a 20 year-old junior and President of the University of Iowa Democracy Matters chapter.
Clinton further stated her support to reverse the effects two Supreme court cases that helped define money as speech, known widely as ‘Citizens United’ and ‘Buckley v. Valeo’. This mention of the Buckley case is notable as she had not previously discussed it in either her announcement speech or subsequent campaign events.
Democracy Matters is a non-partisan student organization focused on addressing the root problem of money in politics with over 60 chapters nationwide and a strong footprint in both the politically crucial early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
For a link to the video containing Ms. Clinton’s comments and additional questions Democracy Matters would like her to answer, click here.
Bernie Sanders announces support for Democracy Matters after signing pledge to restore democracy.
In October 2014, Senator Bernie Sanders became the first presidential candidate to sign Democracy Matters’ pledge to restore democracy which states — “I support restoring democracy by publicly financing elections and taking big money out of politics”. Today he further endorsed the organization and the vital work being done by Democracy Matters chapters across the United States, stating “I want to congratulate the folks at Democracy Matters for working on this enormously important issue”.
Democracy Matters thanks Senator Sanders for being a leader in the movement to restore democracy and looks forward to candidates of both parties joining him by signing the pledge.
If you want to join Senator Sanders in the fight to restore democracy, sign up here.
(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?
Democracy Matters “Restore Democracy” Pledge Card signed by Senator Bernie Sanders
While our students are busy creating campus chapters and forming coalitions with community members for campaign finance reform, they are also asking Presidential candidates if they will sign the Democracy Matters “Restore Democracy Pledge”. The pledge reads: “I support restoring democracy by publicly financing elections and taking big money out of politics.” These pledges serve as promises to the American public that if elected, meaningful campaign finance reform—which includes public financing of elections—will be a central tenant of the administration’s policy objectives. Thus far, the only candidate to have agreed to the pledge is Senator Bernie Sanders, who signed the card in October 2014 (well before he announced his candidacy for President).
Any one is welcome to take the pledge, whether as a candidate or ordinary citizen. We will soon have it up online so for easy access and dissemination.