I join the overwhelming majority of Americans to demand an amendment to the United States Constitution to end the domination of big money in politics and give voice to all Americans.
 
I will stand with all Americans, without regard to party or other differences, and urge all candidates and elected officials to do the same, in order to pass and ratify such a constitutional amendment as soon as possible.

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April 25, 2024

Business Network Quarterly Newsletter

An Easy Business Decision to Make: Protecting & Growing $135 Trillion in Assets

April 25, 2024
Published By American Promise
At American Promise, we are working diligently to make sure our current economic posture is both sustained and grown.

The U.S. has both the highest quality of life and the greatest wealth of any country in the world. Barrons reports that although the U.S. comprises less than 5% of the world’s population, we produce roughly 25% of the global GDP, positioning ourselves to remain the world’s most influential economic force. This is something that we must not only protect, but enhance. Here at American Promise, we are working diligently to make sure our current economic posture is both sustained and grown. 

However, foreign money coming into U.S. elections, including on ballot initiatives, could dethrone the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency in favor of those very countries bankrolling these initiatives. The reality of this dark money creates a rent-a-politician scheme so rampant in our elections that there’s a serious risk to all American businesses. Small and mid-sized businesses, which form the backbone of our economy and employment landscape, face the most significant risk in this scenario, with their voices and business needs silenced. 

Since 2016, foreign-connected entities have reported spending large amounts of money to influence ballot measures, including $219 million in California in 2020 and $67 million in Maine in 2021. These “dark money” groups combined with lax enforcement of disclosure regulations make it easy for donors, including foreign entities, to anonymously funnel money into PACs and other groups.

Allowing foreign entities to influence elections means American politics can be shaped to benefit those actors while potentially harming democracy and our economy. The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) stated that “Foreign Intelligence operations use our election spending regime to easily place ads and run influence campaigns online to mislead, confuse, and divide Americans, turning us on each other,” further proving the point that foreign monetary interference is detrimental to our national business success. In December 2023, American Promise released a full report on foreign influenced election and ballot spending, highlighting the expansive depths of this financial interference. 

This is an American problem, not a party problem.

At the American Promise Business Network, we know this is not a partisan issue; we don’t point fingers at either Republicans or Democrats. Our goal is to unite voters to change the rules of the current political system and nullify the rulings which allow dark money, foreign money, and big money into our political system – destroying trust in government, parties, and big business. To accomplish this goal and restore trust, we need to know our legislative and executive branches are making decisions free from the corrupting influence of money in politics, which is currently happening on both sides of the aisle. How do we make this happen? Permanent reform through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment would give state and federal policymakers a more flexible toolkit to cope with evolving forms of foreign interference in our politics. 

And certain states are fighting back from foreign money coming into U.S. elections & ballot initiatives. But make no mistake, it is a fight.

An Update on Maine

American Promise has partnered with the Protect Maine Elections campaign for several years. Chaired by Maine Republican State Senator Rick Bennett, this citizen initiative will ban foreign governments from electioneering in Maine referendums. The initiative received broad bipartisan support in both Maine legislative chambers, but was then vetoed by Democrat Governor Janet Mills. American Promise again worked with Protect Maine elections and won a hard fought November 2023 ballot initiative to override the Governor’s veto. A remarkable 86% of Mainers supported this initiative, the highest ever margin of victory in any Maine ballot initiative. On the initiative’s success, Senator Bennett noted that “It is time to restore democracy to the people. It’s time to take our republic back from the carnival of corruption it has become,” echoing sentiments felt across the U.S.

However, a snag was hit on March 1st, as a U.S. District Court Justice in Portland delayed the implementation of this new law a mere day before it was to go into effect. The case will now be litigated in Federal Court, with the foreign plaintiffs arguing this law will curb their “free speech” rights in America. This ruling strikes Americans as beyond absurd. This, and prior decisions by the Supreme Court, have emboldened foreign entities to claim that they have a right under our Constitution to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence American elections.

The district court’s decision isn’t the end, though. The American people know dark money in politics is a problem that requires an enduring solution — the For Our Freedom Amendment. This amendment would give state and federal policymakers a more flexible toolkit to cope with evolving forms of foreign interference in our politics.

Join the Movement for Positive Change

The For Our Freedom Amendment is the answer to restoring trust in our legislative and regulatory processes. A key aspect of seeing this through is having businesses on board to accomplish the systemic reform we need so our economy can grow and flourish without the corrupting influence of money in elections. Every business, regardless of size, has a role to play. Learn more about how you and your business can be part of this historic reform through the American Promise Business Network.

Once the For Our Freedom Amendment passes and reasonable restrictions are put in place in campaign finance, legislators will have much more time to meaningfully address the problems in our economy by studying and addressing the critical issues for businesses. This depoliticization of capitalism is welcome news to stakeholders and citizens, thus allowing companies to stay in their swim lanes — and contribute to society through the boundless innovation we’ve come to associate with American ingenuity.

2024 Vision, Agenda, and Growth!

For 2024, we will continue our two-pronged business approach with both state and national engagement. For the For Our Freedom Amendment to be ratified we need 38 states to come aboard and with 22 states committed, we are more than halfway to the goal! This year we added more states to target, including Maine, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Texas, Utah, Iowa, and Wyoming. Do you live, work, or know businesses in any of the targeted states? We’d love your support as we ramp up our outreach efforts in these locations!  Please email me at JohnM@AmericanPromise.net to learn more about how you can take part.

We are growing!

With the ambitious goals outlined above, we need to grow our in-house staff. In fact, we have doubled in just the last year! A special shoutout to our two new Directors of State Campaigns, filling newly created positions, Julia Brown and Jason Arredondo.  Welcome Julia and Jason, and all our new employees! A big thank you to all our financial supporters who make our growth and success possible. All contributions, large and small – they make a big difference!

Join The Business Network

So much of our success is contingent on participation from businesses across America. It’s easy to join the Business Network and you can engage at whatever pace is best for you.The Business Network is a nationwide group comprising thousands of business owners and executives who share a common belief: that the influence of money in politics is detrimental to business.

First, join the Business Network to be included in our quarterly updates inviting you to exclusive business education and networking events. Next, be sure to also add a customized statement of support for the For Our Freedom Amendment. This type of support is incredibly impactful to our representatives.

Once you’re signed up, check out our new Action Center, featuring on-demand information videos about the American Promise Business Network and training. Meet Rotarians from around the country who are leading the way in the For Our Freedom Amendment campaign, while learning about the Rotary’s Four-Way Test and 8 Pillars of Positive Peace. Lastly, you’ll be given the tools and guidance you need to do successful Rotary outreach in your own state to help win the For Our Freedom Amendment. Be sure to keep an eye out for even more Action Center training and support materials specialized for our Chamber of Commerce outreach by year’s end.

If you’re interested in more information about the Business Network, reach out to John McCrea at johnm@americanpromise.net

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