FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 17, 2023
(Harrisburg, Pa.) — American Promise, a national citizen advocacy organization spearheading the For Our Freedom Pennsylvania campaign, today unveiled an update to its widely-referenced 2022 report “UnCommon Wealth: Outside Spending and Influence in the 2022 Pennsylvania Senate Election,” with new data on the massive influx of money into Pennsylvania politics.
New updates to the report include:
- In 2022, the Pennsylvania senate race cost a staggering $420 million dollars, a 425% increase over the $80 million dollars spent in the same race in 2010.
- Most of the 2022 funding for the Senatorial candidates came from outside the state.
- Democrat John Fetterman received $20.7 million – 64% of his total fundraising – from outside of Pennsylvania.
- Republican Mehmet Oz received $11.2 million from out-of-state – 70% of his total fundraising.
- Of the $253 million spent by outside groups in Pennsylvania’s Senate race, approximately 75% was spent on nearly 64,000 negative TV ads attacking candidates and sowing division and mistrust, in the period between September 5 and October 30, 2022.
“The Pennsylvania primary for the US Senate race showed jaw dropping out-of-state spending, however what we saw in the general election was even more alarming,” said Jeff Clements, CEO of American Promise. “This follow up report demonstrates a frightening trend of exponential spending by a powerful donor class in our elections. Without the ability for Americans, and our States and Congress to set limits, we cannot fix the direction we’re heading – one far from the Founder’s intention or anything resembling genuine self-government.”
According to recent polling from Franklin & Marshall’s Center for Public Opinion Polling, Pennsylvanians nearly unanimously support ending dark money’s influence in politics.
- 93% agree that the influence of money in politics is a threat to our democracy.
- 84% believe we should be limiting the amount of money individuals and entities can contribute to political campaigns
- Just 11% say that we should have no limits
- 81% support a federal constitutional amendment that would allow limits to be set on spending in campaigns and elections
“Elections should not be about who can raise the most money, or which candidate gets Dark Money,” says Dave Black, retired CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Elections are about ideas, about serving constituents, about what’s best for our country. Well, now it’s our turn to do something about Dark Money and Campaign Spending.
“We the People,” Dave Black goes on to say “can work together to make this Constitutional Amendment a reality, starting with some simple resolutions in the Pennsylvania Senate and House. Please join us, let’s get this done.”
Read “UnCommon Wealth: an Update on Outside Spending and Influence in the 2022 Pennsylvania Senate Election” here. If you missed Uncommon Wealth Part 1 on the 2022 senatorial primary spending, find that here.
“Too many of our problems these days can be traced to the too many disparities that embarrass our claim to democracy,” said Alan Jennings, retired CEO of Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley. “Money in politics locks those disparities in. Collectively, it’s time we say, ‘not on our watch.’”
American Promise is devoted to a singular vision: Winning the For Our Freedom constitutional amendment to permit reasonable limits on political spending, ensuring every American’s voice counts.
Achieving this amendment requires approval by ⅔ of both the House and Senate and ratification by ¾ of the state legislatures. With support from 22 states and now having a deeper understanding of where the people of PA stand, the American People are one step closer to closing the massive loopholes allowing for billions of dollars to pour in and put the power back in the hands of the people of PA and every state.
A resolution calling on Congress to support the For Our Freedom Amendment has been circulated in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, as part of a bicameral, bipartisan effort to repair our electoral system.
American Promise is a non-partisan national organization working to unite Americans behind a constitutional solution to the runaway money and corruption problem in American elections. With members and supporters across Pennsylvania and nationwide, American Promise Pennsylvania members have launched For Our Freedom Pennsylvania.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brittany Crampsie, 717 712 3480