Senate Will See At Least Six New Reform Champions in 2013
People disgusted by the big money that flooded this year’s elections should take heart with the knowledge that the U.S. Senate will see at least six new champions for fixing our broken campaign finance system.
Four U.S. House members who have advocated reform measures like the Fair Elections Now Act in the lower chamber will replace Senators who have been absent or inactive on the issue and two challengers will replace Republicans who refused to support public financing legislation.
- Representative and Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) was an original co-sponsor of a robust public financing bill, the precursor to the Fair Elections Now Act, when she first came to Congress in 1999 and has supported the issue every since.
- Representative and Senator-elect Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) led the fight for public financing when he served on the Albuquerque City Council, then championed Fair Elections when he joined the House in 2009.
- Representative and Senator-elect Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was an enthusiastic supporter of Connecticut’s Fair Elections-style public financing program when he served in the state legislature and co-sponsored the Fair Elections Now Act in the House.
- Representative and Senator-elect Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) has been a co-sponsor of the House Fair Elections Now Act since she came to Congress in 2007.
- Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) campaigned against the influence of big money in our political system—especially the power it gives Wall Street bankers and lobbyists. Her campaign website specifically mentions her support for public financing.
- Former Governor and Senator-elect Angus King (I-Maine), is supporter of his state’s Clean Elections system and keynoted the program's 10th anniversary forum, organized by Maine Citizens for Clean Elections.
In the House, four former Congressional representatives and Fair Elections backers—Reps. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)—return after beating back incumbents who have been silent on the role of big money in political campaigns or actively opposed to reforms.
They join the 114 returning House members who co-sponsored either the Fair Elections Now Act or the Grassroots Democracy Act in the current Congress.
The Fair Elections Now Act would allow candidates for Congress to run competitive campaigns for office while relying on a mix of small dollar donations and public matching funds rather than large special interest checks. This allows them to focus on everyday people—their constituents—instead of just wealthy donors who can write large checks.