You are on page 1of 4

An Open Letter from Substantial Political Donors: It’s Time to Reduce the Influence of Big Money in Politics and

Increase the Voice of All Americans Dear Elected Official, During the 2012 election cycle, just 32 Super PAC donors spent more to influence the 2012 presidential election than 3.7 million Americans combined. In federal and many state and local elections, and even elections for state courts, extraordinarily wealthy individuals and powerful corporations exercise vastly outsized influence. We urge you to fix today’s broken campaign finance laws. Nothing less than our democracy is at stake. We who sign this letter raise and give substantial sums for elections. The influence that people like us have will be curtailed by the changes we seek, but our democracy must return to the First Amendment principle that all Americans, not just the wealthy, must have their voices heard. • • • Depending on narrow special interests and the wealthiest individuals to finance elections: Fuels polarization by making officeholders fear every well-funded threat of opposition; Forces even well-intended officeholders to spend so much time raising money that they cannot give full attention to meeting the nation’s challenges, or building relationships with those across the partisan aisle; Distorts policy, as elected officials seek to please their donors; Erodes Americans’ trust in their representatives and in our democracy.

• •

Voters must be able to tell who is really paying for the ads they see. Election enforcement agencies must be able to implement campaign finance laws with fairness for all. At the heart of any broad reform must be a system of public financing that: • Encourages all Americans to make modest contributions, utilizing mechanisms such as tax credits, vouchers, and amplifying small donations with matching funds;

• • • •

Strongly incentivizes candidates to reach out to everyday constituents and spend less time courting deep-pocket interests and dialing for long-distance dollars; Passes constitutional muster by expanding political speech for millions of Americans; Is adequately funded to allow candidates to rely on small donations and public funds and run a financially competitive campaign; and Eliminates the conflict of interest that inevitably occurs when candidates raise or benefit from substantial sums provided by people who seek to influence policy.

All Americans pay a tremendous price for the current election system due to the enormous financial costs of distorted conflict-of-interest decision-making and a weakened democracy. If Americans are to rebuild their trust in elected officials, elected officials must fix our broken campaign finance system. We urge you to speak out and build a government of, by, and for the people. We look forward to partnering with you in this patriotic imperative. Sincerely,

Naomi Aberly Boston, MA Georgia Berner Zelienople, PA Elizabeth Broderick Austin, TX Alan Davis San Francisco, CA Andrew Faulk San Francisco, CA Danny Goldberg New York, NY

Brian Arbogast Seattle, WA Loren Blackford New York, NY Jeff Clements Concord, MA David DesJardins Burlingame, CA Christopher Findlater Miami Beach, FL Barbara Grasseschi Healdsburg, CA

Marc Baum New York, NY Bob Bowditch Boston, MA Ben Cohen Williston, VT Marion Edey Silver Spring, MD Jeanne Findlater Lakewood, CO Richard Graves Washington, DC

Christie Hefner Chicago, IL Leo Hindery New York, NY Joel Kanter Washington, DC Mike Lux Silver Spring, MD Sandy Newman Takoma Park, MD Frank Patitucci Pleasanton, CA Doug Phelps Denver, CO Paul Rudd New York, NY Claire Silberman Brooklyn, NY Mary Ann Stein Bethesda, MD Pat Stryker Fort Collins, CO Margery Tabankin Marina Del Rey, CA

Barbarina Heyerdahl Montpelier, VT Steven Irwin Pittsburgh, PA Betsy Krieger Baltimore, MD Marcia Morris Boston, MA Craig Newmark San Francisco, CA Alan Patricof New York, NY Carl Pope San Francisco, CA Ben Schwartz West Springfield, MA Daniel Solomon Bethesda, MD Faye Straus Lafayette, CA Rachel Tabachnick Carnegie, PA Valerie Tarico Seattle, WA

Arnold Hiatt Boston, MA Frank Jernigan San Francisco, CA Steve E. Lichtenberg, MD San Francisco, CA Holly Mosher Venice, CA Yolanda (Cookie) Parker Los Angeles, CA Morris Pearl New York, NY Charles Rodgers Boston, MA Joshua Schwartz Chicago, IL Jonathan Soros New York, NY Sandor Straus Lafayette, CA Ritchie Tabachnick Carnegie, PA Michael Thornton Boston, MA

Matthew Tuchow San Francisco, CA Phil Villers Concord, MA

John Vasconcellos San Jose, CA Patricia Weber Corvallis, OR

Kate Villers Concord, MA Marc Weiss New York, NY