The recent National Citizen Leadership Conference attracted American Promise supporters from across the political spectrum, reinforcing the fact that the problem of skyrocketing campaign finance is not a partisan issue but an issue of freedom and individual rights. The bipartisan gathering and growing GOP support for the For Our Free Amendment drew the attention of The New York Times, which recently highlighted the NCLC in its political newsletter.
NYT Editor Blake Hounshell joined American Promise members at NCLC to learn more about the For Our Freedom amendment and why support for the amendment is growing, especially among Republicans. As he notes in the article: “‘Outside groups’ — that is, organizations independent from the official party committees and campaigns — spent $4.5 billion in the decade after the Citizens United ruling, up from $750 million during the previous two decades.”
While Democrats have been more likely to call for campaign finance reform, Hounshell writes, groups and very wealthy individuals affiliated with both political parties are responsible for dark money donations producing that skyrocketing sum. He notes that American Promise’s new executive director, Bill Cortese, “is helping the group hone its pitch to Republicans — talking up shared concerns about the role of Silicon Valley billionaires in elections, for instance, and finding allies in the business community who can relate to conservative lawmakers wary of anything that smacks of liberal do-gooderism.”
With 92% of voters in battleground states indicating their support for measures to end dark money by making all political contributions transparent, Hounshell says: “Those kinds of numbers suggest, at a minimum, that Republican Party leaders are at odds with their constituents when it comes to money in politics, giving groups like American Promise at least an opening.”