Sanders Unveils Plan to Get Corporate Money Out of Politics

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'Money Is Not Speech and Corporations Are Not People': "You can't take on a corrupt system if you take its money."

Common Dreams - October 7, 2019

"Our grassroots-funded campaign is proving every single day that you don't need billionaires and private fundraisers to run for president." —Sen. Bernie Sanders

Holding up the small-donor campaign model his campaign has revolutionized as proof alternatives exist, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday unveiled an ambitious new plan to get "corporate money out of politics."

The Sanders plan aims to end the corrupting influence of dark money by dramatically curbing the ability of corporations to dominate giving to political parties, replacing the Federal Election Commission with a new enforcement agency, establishing public funding for all federal elections, and pushing for a Constitutional Amendment that makes clear that "money is not speech and corporations are not people."

The Sanders campaign said in a statement that the new slate of proposals—which can be read in full here—are designed to end "the greed-fueled, corrupt corporate influence over elections, national party convention, and presidential inaugurations" that currently exists and deliver to the public an election system the puts the America people at the center.

"Our grassroots-funded campaign is proving every single day that you don't need billionaires and private fundraisers to run for president," Sanders said. "We've received more contributions from more individual contributors than any campaign in the history of American politics because we understand the basic reality that you can't take on a corrupt system if you take its money."

The plan would specifically target corporate giving by banning companies from donating to the Democratic National Convention and related committees, a change that would dramatically upend how the DNC has traditionally operated the quadrennial party gathering.

The proposal would also abolish corporate giving to presidential inaugurations and cap individual donations to $500.

According to the campaign:

Corporate donors spend tremendous amounts of money on inaugural events. In 2016, Trump's inaugural donors included AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, General Motors, Coca Cola, Pepsi, and many more. Private Prisons also shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars for Trump's inauguration. And this is nothing new, Corporate donors to the 2013 inauguration included Microsoft, Boeing, Chevron, Genetech, and numerous federal contractors. Many of these corporations have federal contracts and business that comes before Congress. It is absolutely absurd that these entities are allowed to spend enormous sums of money in an attempt to garner favor with the president and vice president of the United States.

...Read full report at Common Dreams

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