Nancy Pelosi: Addressing Money in Politics a Motivating Factor in Running for Leadership

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Watchdog Applauds Minority Leader, Urges Congress to Take Action

Washington, D.C.—Campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund applauded House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for saying today that “changing the role of money in politics” is a motivating factor in her decision to stay on as Democratic Minority Leader in the 113th Congress.

At her press conference this morning, Pelosi said, “changing the role of money in politics is really a very important motivator for me to stay in the leader’s office. I think it must be done.”

She continued, “Our founders had in mind a government of the many, not the government of the money. You’ve heard me say that over and over again.”

“We applaud Nancy Pelosi's commitment to address one of the biggest obstacles to restoring the people's faith in elections and in Congress. Reforming election laws is hard, but Leader Pelosi is tough, and we'll need her leadership,” said David Donnelly, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “For other leaders in Congress, we believe that to ignore this issue is to accept the immorality of a campaign finance system that makes second class citizens out of so many Americans who cannot make large contributions.”

On Tuesday, Public Campaign Action Fund and Democracy Corps released a survey that found just 15 percent of Americans believed their opinion was influential to members of Congress. That means roughly 100 million voters out of 120 million who cast votes on Tuesday did so believing their views will not matter in what Congress does.

“That's a damning finding for a functioning democracy based on consent of the governed,” said Donnelly. “That's why Leader Pelosi's statement today should spur action.”

Her full remarks, available on the CSPAN website (beginning around 13:00 minutes):

“[B]ut I talked here about changing the role of money in politics, is really a very important motivator for me to stay in the leader’s office. I think it must be done. When people say that, oh and I read in the course of this week that money didn’t make any difference in the course of the campaign. They all wasted their money. Well that really wasn’t true. The president of the United States the most well-known, famous, respected person on the planet had to spend a billion dollars to set the record straight from what that other big money was putting out there.

"Senate races, House races. Tammy Duckworth had $7 million spent against her. $7 million in outside money. This is a congressional race. This is not right. Our founders had in mind a government of the many, not the government of the money. You’ve heard me say that over and over again. So that was a motivating factor to me..."