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Campaign Finance Reform Moves Closer to the White House

Created: 12 October, 2016
Updated: 17 October, 2022
2 min read

© 2016 by reclaimtheamericandream.org. The article was written by Hedrick Smith, executive editor of reclaimtheamericandream.org.

Washington – What got lost in the mudslinging of the second presidential debate and the political uproar over Donald Trump’s bragging about predatory sexism was an important watershed in U.S. political history  – the political reforms that a majority of Americans back in opinion polls gained a first tier advocate moving closer to the White House.

Virtually unreported in the chaotic media scrum was Hillary Clinton’s answer to a question from Beth Miller, one of the citizen participants in last Sunday’s town hall debate in St. Louis. Miller, observing that the choice of the next Supreme Court justice was perhaps the most important aspect of the presidential election, asked the two candidates: “What would you prioritize as the most important aspect of selecting a Supreme Court justice?”

Hillary Clinton shot back: “I would want to see the Supreme Court reverse Citizens United and get dark, unaccountable money out of our politics.” Trump, as in the past, sidestepped a direct answer by commenting that “I’m not taking all of this big money from all of these different corporations like she’s doing.” But in fact, Trump’s campaign has been working with the Republican National Committee to raise corporate and billionaire MegaMoney, just as Clinton has for Democrats. And Trump made no pledge to reform the system.

For America’s future, what counted was Hillary Clinton’s becoming the first major party presidential nominee pledging to work for campaign finance reform in the White House.

During the primaries, Clinton had vowed that if elected, she would in her first 30 days “propose a constitutional amendment” to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and to restore the power of Congress and the states to regulate campaign money. She pledged to appoint justices who understand that Citizens United  “was a disaster for our democracy,” to back legislation to empower small donors and to require federal contractors to report their campaign donations. She has now reaffirmed that commitment.

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Editor’s note: This article originally published on Reclaim the American Dream’s blog. It was republished with permission. 

Photo Credit: Sean Locke Photography / shutterstock.com