“Dear Bernie Sanders: Don’t follow in Obama’s footsteps on campaign finance reform”

Larry Lessig WaPo oped:

But on the same day that Sanders declared that campaign finance reform must come first, his campaign released a statement completely negating the significance of that promise. Responding to a crowdsourced question on change.org’s new politics platform, Sanders again promised to “commit to making reforms that change the way campaigns are funded a primary objective” of his administration. But when he listed what he would actually do in his “first 100 days in office,” his list included three minor changes related to transparency in political spending. As to the only change that could make his platform credible — revamping the way congressional elections are funded by adopting a system of small-dollar, citizen-funded campaigns, such as the one Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) has proposed — Sanders indicated this was something to “move toward” “over the long term.”

“Over the long term”? What exactly does Sanders expect to accomplish in the short term, before this change is enacted? As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a speech on the floor of the Senate on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, this is not a fight for the long term. This is the fight to be having right now. The only way real change will happen in the United States is if Congress is set free from its corrupting dependence on interested money. Yet, bizarrely, Sanders doesn’t commit to promoting this essential change in Congress as a priority of his administration.


Comments are closed.