Rep. McNerney Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Ban Dark Money and Reform Campaign Finance System

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Washington, DC – November 6th will be the most expensive midterm election in American history. In response to the intensifying spending in our elections, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) has introduced a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would drastically change the way political campaigns are financed.

The amendment would restrict campaign contributions and eliminate Political Action Committees (PACs) and dark money that strongly influence the outcome of our elections. Funding for a candidate or ballot measure would be limited to the use of a public financing system or donations given directly to the campaign by individual citizens.

“The American public is sick of our broken campaign finance system, which puts the demands of special interests above the needs of the people,” said Congressman McNerney. “It’s a problem that is weakening the core of our government. We see the signs as this Republican Congress jams through massive tax breaks for corporations and the richest among us while ignoring the widespread income inequality and growing wealth gap that is pushing more and more Americans out of the middle class and hurting those most in need. The only solution is to remove the corruptive spending that has been poisoning our political system.”

A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds that 77 percent of Americans believe there should be limits on the amount of money individuals and organizations can donate, and 65 percent say that new campaign finance laws could be written to effectively reduce the role of money in politics. Meanwhile, experts anticipate total spending for this election will total over $4 billion by the end of the cycle.

“Americans across the political spectrum agree on this issue,” said Rep. McNerney. “When dark money determines the outcomes of our elections, the American people become disillusioned and discouraged, and when your wealth determines the value of your voice, our democracy deteriorates. It’s time we return to a government that is by the people and for the people – and that means eliminating the corrosive influence of money in politics.”

The bipartisan joint resolution, H.J.Res. 141, which is cosponsored by Congressman Walter Jones (NC-03), would give Congress, states and localities jurisdiction to establish contribution limits, including limits on the amount of money an individual candidate can contribute to their own campaign.

The resolution is endorsed by American Promise – an organization working to find a bipartisan solution to reduce the role of money in politics.

“We salute Congressman McNerney and Congressman Jones for coming together across partisan lines—just as American Promise members across the country are doing—to work for an urgently needed amendment to the US Constitution to stop the undue influence of large donors and special interests in our political system,” said Jeff Clements, President of American Promise. “The Supreme Court has broken the rules for preventing corruption and is denying Americans an equal voice in our government. We look forward to working with the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Caucus, and with all Americans, to fix it once and for all with the 28th Amendment.”

Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.