American Promise Business Network

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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Money in politics
is bad for business

Civically responsible business leaders, executives, and owners work together in advocacy of the For Our Freedom Amendment. Your unique business perspective, influence, and connections are pivotal for setting the record straight: From Main Street to Wall Street, rules that foster dark money from outside groups and foreign donors in our elections do not help business but threaten critical innovation, healthy markets, economic growth, and thus society at large.

Business Statement of Principle

The American Promise Business Network is a robust group of professionals from across the country and across the political landscape, with one goal: end the pay-to-play politics that threaten our economic climate.

Interested in the American Promise Business Network?

Because we value your precious time, your involvement will be quick and efficient. By joining the business network you will:

  • receive a welcome email and our four-part email series to learn what business leaders like you are doing right now, and how you can get involved with your existing network
  • receive an invitation to connect with our Business Network Manager

 

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The millions of dollars in dark money from billionaires, special interests and foreign interests work to the detriment of our voices and our democracy.

We have come to expect business and wealthy individuals to fund our political system. Do we really want the strategic direction of our society, what we prioritize and what programs we kill, what we tax and what we incentivize, to be determined by so few, and not by We, the People?

My life has been about taking the long view. Today’s rules of the political game make it impossible for our government or business to take the long view. We need a 28th Amendment to give the future a voice.

The significant corporate dollars now flowing into political campaigns erode transparency and fairness and are incongruent with the U.S. maintaining its leadership role in the global economy.

The North Dallas Chamber is pleased to partner with American Promise on its efforts to bring about transparency and accountability in election campaign finance.

Too many of our problems these days can be traced to the too many disparities that embarrass our claim to democracy. Money in politics locks those disparities in. Collectively, it’s time we say, 'Not on our watch!

David Black

Maureen Kline

Peter Schwartz

Matt Patsky

Jeff Kitner

Alan Jennings

Retired President & CEO Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC

VP Public Affairs & Sustainability, Pirelli Tire North America

Futurist and Business Strategist

CEO, Trillium Asset Management

Chief Operating Officer, North Dallas Chamber of Commerce

Retired CEO of Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley

The Role of Business

Only business can clarify that pay-to-play does not make economic sense.

Because legislators often assume the current environment benefits business, executives are uniquely positioned to get the attention of Congress and set the record straight: Rules that foster pay-to-play do not help business, but threaten innovation, healthy markets, and economic growth. In addition, business has a compelling interest in helping to restore public trust in our society—and faces significant reputational, regulatory, and systemic risk if this issue is not addressed. Finally, many business leaders are deeply committed to representative democracy and share a concern for our country. They are now joining the national wave of engagement on this issue—adding their voices to the millions of Americans convinced that action is needed.

There are problems but
we have solutions.

The Problem

In a strong U.S. economy, companies compete based on the value they create in the marketplace. In a strong U.S. society, government is accountable to the people it serves. Yet, in America today, free enterprise and the open exchange of ideas are too often replaced by “pay-to-play,” where firms and special interests compete for favors based on political spending. The result is an ever-escalating arms race and increasing cronyism. Elected officials now spend 30-70% of their time raising money, in races 20 times more costly than in 2000. One Fortune 500 CEO describes this as “legalized extortion,” explaining, “We are seeing every politician coming in here with their hand out, demanding contributions.”

The Costs

In the end, pay-to-play means everyone loses. Our economy suffers when cronyism undermines honest competition and the real drivers of growth. Large companies confront reputational risks if their government affairs conflict with their stated values. Innovators and investors face increased volatility and regulatory complexity, and small business cannot get a seat at the table. Even worse, pay-to-play politics corrupts representative democracy itself, threatening the integrity of our government, enabling influence by foreign actors, and fueling public cynicism and distrust.

The Root Cause

In the 1970s, an activist Supreme Court began dismantling the century-old U.S. campaign finance framework—assuming this would help business. A series of decisions has authorized PACs and Super PACs and enabled corporations, unions, special interest groups, and individuals to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns. Since then, spending and contributions have skyrocketed, with more than 76% contributed by 0.1% of the population. Much of this money flows through non-disclosing non-profits. According to former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY), “Money’s dominance over politics…is a growing crisis that prevents us from tackling anything else.”

The Solution

In the current pay-to-play environment, refusing to engage can amount to “unilateral disarmament” for a single business. Together, however, concerned business people can be clear: We want rules that foster honest competition, in the marketplace for goods and services and in the marketplace of ideas. Amazingly, 75% of Americans agree on the solution to pay-to-play politics. Twenty states have passed resolutions calling for a 28th Constitutional Amendment to end unlimited political spending and stop this destructive arms race for influence. American Promise is the leading non-partisan organization working to unite Americans in crafting, passing, and ratifying such an amendment.

Dark Money and Special Interests are Blocking Reasonable Solutions to Many Major Issues.

Suffocating Healthcare & Drug Costs

Creeping Tax Code & Regulatory Complexity

Ballooning Deficits & Interest Rates

Workforce Issues Not Being Addressed – Especially Legal Immigration

Subsidies & Exemptions as Political Favors

Gridlocked Energy Policy with Rising Costs

Short-Termism & Systemic Financial Risk

Economic Inequality & Profound Societal Distrust of Government