Elizabeth Warren on Government Reform
SEN. WARREN. Yeah.
Q: So what is your solution?
WARREN: Washington works for anyone who can hire an army of lobbyists and lawyers. It just doesn't work for regular families. They've got the concentration of money and power that makes sure that every rule works for those who are rich. What we have on the other side, is we've only got two things. We've got our voices and we've got our votes. And we've got to make sure we get heard. That's the only way we ever get a level playing field.
Q: Is your fight with President Obama or is it with the Republicans?
WARREN: I have had very strong and frankly, pretty public, disagreements with both the Bush administration and with the current administration particularly during the financial bailout over the treatment of the biggest banks. My view was there was too much--and still is--too much of tilting the playing field in their favor.
[During the 2012 election], MA was finally mailing out half a million voter registration cards. This issue is a direct shot at democracy. In many states, the Republicans have made voter suppression a regular part of their arsenal, chipping away at early voting. African American voting, student voting, you-name-it voting.
Congressional Summary:Fair Elections Now Act--Amends 1971 FECA with respect to:
Statement of support for corresponding Senate bill: (Sunlight Foundation) Now we bring you the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act, a bill that should probably be the least controversial of all. S. 375 would simply require senators and Senate candidates to file their public campaign finance disclosure reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, the way House candidates and presidential candidates have been filing for over a decade. A version of the bill has been introduced during every congress starting in 2003 (!) yet it has been blocked repeatedly, a victim of political football.
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has introduced the most recent version, which would ensure that paper Senate campaign finance reports are a thing of the past. But even with 50 bipartisan cosponsors, the bill faces an uphill battle. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, has repeatedly prevented the bill from coming to the Senate floor. We won't be deterred--as long as McConnell continues to block the bill, we'll continue to highlight that his intransigence results in delayed disclosure of vital, public campaign finance information, not to mention wasting $500,000 in taxpayer money annually. Eventually, we'll win.
Supporters reasons for voting YEA:Rep. Sarbanes: Big money warps Congress' priorities and erodes the public's trust in government. This bold new legislation returns voice and power back to the American people:
Opponents reasons for voting NAY:(Bill Moyers, Feb. 19, 2015): This citizen engagement strategy, particularly when used to court small donors, is not without its critics. Small donors, at least in the current system, often tend to be political ideologues. That trend leaves many asking: won't moving to small donors just empower extremists? Sarbanes counters, if Congress changes the political fundraising rules, they will also change the calculus for "the rational small donor who right now isn't going to give $25 because they've figured out that it's not going to matter." The prospect of a 6-to-1 match might very well impact how those less ideologically extreme potential donors think about political giving.
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