What does it mean when you hear someone say “we need to get big money out of politics?” The term “big money” refers to large campaign contributions from corporations and wealthy donors. The donors make these contributions to influence candidates and the political process.
You may think there are more important issues to focus on such as climate change, voting rights or housing affordability. Yet, there is a direct link between who funds political campaigns and the policies and laws that do or don’t result in government action.
7:23 - Lawrence Norden is Deputy Director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program. He works on a variety of issues including money in politics, voting and government dysfunction. He joined us to discuss Brennan Center's work on campaign finance reform and public financing of elections.
Watch Lawrence share his First Civic Action
28:23 - L. Joy, June and Lurie are joined by Amshula Jayaram and Sal Albanese to further discuss various methods of public financing of elections.
Amshula Jayaram is a Senior Campaign Strategist at Demos, a dynamic “think-and-do-tank” that champions ways to address deep-seated inequity in our political and economic systems and puts communities of color at the center She focuses on advancing democracy reforms and supporting policies that advance racial equity. She recently testified before the New York State Senate on this issue.
Sal Albanese, who joined us on a previous episode, is back to weigh in on this topic, specifically offering an alternative to public financing in the form of "Democracy Vouchers". Sal is currently serving on the New York City Charter Revision Commission and heard about this alternative which he is now a proponent of.
Learn more about "big money", campaign finance reform and public financing of elections with this reading list.
Dark Money – PBS
Donor Diversity Through Public Matching Funds – Brennan Center for Justice
Big Money in the Charm City - Demos
More Cities Want to Embrace ‘Democracy Vouchers’ – CityLab
Definitions For Money In Politics Terms – League of Women Voters
Whose Voice, Whose Choice? The Distorting Influence of the Political Donor Class in Our Big-Money Elections – Demos
Overview of State Laws on Public Financing – National Conference of State Legislatures
Is campaign finance an issue of gender and racial equity? - City of State New York
Exonerated Man Who Spent Years in Prison in NY Calls for Public Financing of Elections - New York Law Journal
We celebrate 100 episodes of #SundayCivics with another installment of our #WhoWeElect series focusing on the elected position of state attorney general. The state attorney general is the …
How do those adorned in Black robes make it to the bench? Some judges are appointed but some also appear on our ballots. In another installment of our Who We Elect series we discuss the …
If your favorite celebrity endorses a candidate for public office it may not matter much to you unless of course it is the candidate you are already supporting. Endorsements from …
"The Russian influence campaign on social media in the 2016 election made an extraordinary effort to target African-Americans..." That is a statement straight out of a Senate Intelligence …
What does it mean to be “healthy” and how does our civic life and that healthy life intersect? What role does the government play in your “healthy” …
Welcome to the 20's...what our civics teacher & friendly neighborhood political strategist L. Joy Williams has dubbed the Empowering 20's. The …