Enough Talk: How Will Romney and Obama address our big money system?

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Washington, D.C.—In light of Mitt Romney’s remarks this weekend about the presidential public financing system, both President Barack Obama and Gov. Romney should offer their plan to raise the voices of everyday people in our political process. As Romney said this weekend, candidates spending so much time raising money, “increases the potential of money having an influence in politics.”

“If Mitt Romney is worried about the amount of money being spent in our elections, and its influence, then he needs to do more than just place blame,” said David Donnelly, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “He and President Obama should tell the American people how they plan to raise the voices of everyday people over the flood of money from wealthy special interests.”

Public Campaign Action Fund will launch a petition today to urge President Obama and Gov. Romney to provide their reform plan, available online at www.campaignmoney.org/whatsyourplan.

During an interview that aired Sunday on Fox News, Romney blamed President Obama for the amount of money being spent in the election and said that he’d be willing to accept presidential matching funds in 2016, a claim that deserves more scrutiny due to Romney’s previous comments that there should be no limits on contributions to candidates. Pairing the antiquated presidential public financing system with no contribution limits would be cosmetic and not incentivize small dollar fundraising. Recently, while attacking Obama for rewarding donors with contracts and other perks, his campaign offered no policy solutions that would address the problem.

President Obama has supported public financing efforts since his days in the Illinois legislature, including cosponsoring the Fair Elections Now Act in the Senate, but has fallen short in showing leadership on these issues in his first term.

A robust plan to restore our democracy would include an update to the presidential public financing system, the Fair Elections Now Act for Congressional campaigns, and increased transparency for political groups spending money to influence our elections. In the long-term, we need a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

“Both candidates like to talk about the influence of money on their opponent’s policies, but neither has offered a plan on how to address it,” said Donnelly. “A recent Gallup poll showed government corruption was the number two issue for Americans—they’re ready for more than just empty rhetoric.”

Source for Gallup poll.

In January, a Public Campaign Action Fund poll conducted by Democracy Corps, found that voters overwhelmingly oppose the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and support common sense limits on political donations.

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Public Campaign Action Fund works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations. Learn more at www.campaignmoney.org.