Big money, dark money, and now even foreign money has infiltrated our elections. This unchecked and unlimited spending is silencing the voices of the American people. It fuels division through non-stop attack ads that offer nothing to the political debate and it stalls progress on many of the vital issues that we face as a nation.
There is an elite donor class buying our elections and distorting the founders vision of a government “of, by, and for the people.” The powerful few smother the voices of 330 million Americans. Until this imbalance is fixed and every person’s voice matters, we will never address America’s most pressing challenges.
No. Americans from every walk of life and on both sides of the political aisle support the movement to end big money in politics. Our nationwide chapters and advisory board include conservatives, liberals and everyone in between. Meet our advisory council.
Several versions of this kind of constitutional amendment have been introduced in Congress and support is growing. We are building support in the states and in Congress so we make sure the constitutional amendment has the best language and support from Republicans, Democrats and Independents in Congress. The Constitution is not for one party or the other but for all of us. Following a multi-year nationwide engagement with Americans and experts in every region of the country, we think this text of the amendment is very good. If you want, let us know what you think with this survey.
The For Our Freedom Amendment makes it clear that reasonable campaign finance regulations — including disclosure requirements — are constitutional. Although the text of the proposed amendment does not specifically mention “disclosure,” such requirements are encompassed by the broader notion of “regulating.” (Section 2 provides: “Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to forbid . . . reasonabl[e] regulati[on] [of] contributions and spending in campaigns, elections, or ballot measures.”). The amendment also identifies four compelling sovereign interests that could be used to justify disclosure requirements and other campaign finance regulations. These “compelling sovereign interests” are broader in scope than the types of “important governmental interests” that have so far been recognized by the Supreme Court to justify campaign finance regulations.
When things are this broken, we need a constitutional solution. The elite donors and special interests have so much power over our elections and government because over the years, the Supreme Court made a series of mistakes that rewrote the First Amendment to say that unlimited money is free speech, no matter where it comes from, and Americans no longer have the freedom to implement sound anti-corruption laws.
A constitutional amendment is necessary to repair and strengthen the First Amendment so all Americans have a voice in our elections. It respects the Court’s role in our republic, but reminds us all that in America, the people have the last word on the Constitution and our freedom.
Our division is fueled by pay-to-play politics driven by special interests, mega-donors, and foreign actors. That’s why we must pass this amendment, and will.
The For Our Freedom Amendment unites America. Three out of four Americans support it. Already, more than 20 states and 800 cities and towns have passed resolutions formally calling for the Amendment. And historically in America, constitutional amendments happen in divided, dangerous times.
It wasn’t always like this. One hundred years ago, as a result of corruption in the Gilded Age, common sense campaign finance laws were enacted to restrict corporate money from politics and overcome the dominance of the industry titans from having too much influence over our government.
However, in the last 40 years a series of Supreme Court decisions have dismantled these laws that were intended to protect the people’s voice in government. The court has been using the absurd notion that political spending by corporations and other entities is considered “speech,” and that because speech is protected by the First Amendment, Congress or our State Legislatures have no power to limit the raising and spending of money in our elections. These decisions led to the creation of Super PACs and independent expenditure nonprofits that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections.
The For Our Freedom Amendment will take the power to change a campaign finance law away from the Supreme Court, and give it back to Congress and the states. Currently, when citizens try to change campaign finance laws, it escalates to the Supreme Court where it is shut down due to a series of past rulings. This amendment takes the Supreme Court out of the picture and opens the door for action at the local, state, and federal level to change campaign finance policy.
Yes! Ever since the founding of our country, each generation has amended the Constitution. From ending the poll tax, to voting rights for women, to tax reform, to other fundamental changes, amending the Constitution has been a fundamental tool for preserving American democracy. Many of these amendments have come at times of profound political division, yet Americans still came together to achieve change. For more, read The myth of the ‘unamendable’ Constitution by American Promise CEO Jeff Clements.
American Promise is comprised of two organizations, our 501(c)3 tax-deductible American Promise Education Fund, which supports our civic education, programming, and operations, and the 501(c)4 American Promise, Inc, which helps us empower citizens on the ground to take action in their communities. All of this work is funded by the generous contributions of American citizens and grantmaking foundations across the country. We fully disclose all donations.
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