It is an unfortunate fact of history that it often takes a crisis to move democracies towards needed reforms. So while American overwhelmingly oppose special interest money in politics and progressive candidates advocate reform, many law-makers who benefit from the the current system stand in the way.
But Republican Party, from where most opposition comes, now actually has a crisis. One of their billionaire donors decided to skip the “middle man” and seek presidential power for himself. Republican candidates were helpless to stop him with their old talking points designed to satisfy big donors because those messages now ring hollow with voters.
To prevent this crisis from happening again and to preserve their role as the political class, the Republican Party has to rebuild. And they have to start by freeing themselves from the burden that monied sponsors impose on their platform. When it all sinks in, they will be ready for reform.
But we have to be ready with a proposal that is viable. It can’t give Congress broad constitutional powers to regulate campaign speech or offer public financing that will likely make things worse.
Since the Citizen United decision, the solution clearly has to break the constitutional link between money and speech but without impairing free expression. It has to disempower Super PACs and dark money. This will require nothing short of an amendment.
The Constitution has been amended 27 times before, often in the face of longer odds, by reformers who taught us to be consistent, inclusive, rational and patient.
The amendment offered here, CFR28, is by necessity a bit more complicated than the other campaign finance proposals that have already failed. So this web site contains five documents to help you undersand CFR28. The "Proposal Reasoning" page describes the logic behind CFR28. The downloadable "Proposal Illustration" (on the right) depicts what is regulated and not regulated by CFR28. The "Proposal Breakdown" lists four highlights of the amendment and provides a section-by-section explanation of its provisions. And of course, the text of the "Proposed Amendment" itself appears both on a Web page and in a downloadable format. Finally, the "CFR28 Blog" and "Notes on Alternatives" explains important advantages of CFR28 the mistakes of comon reform strategies.
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