Ethical & Effective Government

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Minimizing Money’s Corrosive Effect on Government

I hate that “money is speech” in American contemporary politics.

On one hand, I am personally flattered and encouraged by the tremendous financial support people in and around my life have contributed to my campaign and that we are considered because of that a serious threat to break the science-denying, myopic Republican stranglehold on this district.

Increase Transparency Requirements for Outside Groups

Super PACs, the veiled organizations that emerged from the disastrous Citizens United decision, solicit and collect limitless contributions but are only required to file donors’ information quarterly in general election years and on a semi-annual basis in odd-numbered years. As a result, the largest single donors to throw millions into a particular race in the weeks and months leading to an election without voters knowing who is behind those campaigns until well after the race is over.

Innovative Public Funding for Elections

Theodore Roosevelt first proposed public financing of elections in his 1907 State of the Union speech. While the presidential election matching fund has not kept up with contemporary realities of political life, smart public servants committed to the public good have come up with innovative solutions.

Slow the Revolving Door Between K Street, Wall Street & Capitol Hill

Last year, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Elijah Cummings introduced a bill titled the Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act. This legislation would change a variety of ethics laws around presidential appointments. The bill would ban the process of wealthy corporations giving excessive compensation to employees who leave for government jobs, which creates a system where the fox guards the hen house. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and others have granted these bonuses, which provide incentives for bank executives to assume positions regulating the industries that just so richly compensated them, and likely will again once they complete their “government service.” These government positions should be filled by people whose aim is service, not to leverage the access to power to enrich themselves and their benefactors.