AND CLEAN ELECTION POLICY
[February 13, 2020 – Longport, New Jersey] – In an article published yesterday in the NJ Globe, entitled, “Democrats Who Signed No-Line Pledge Still Seeking Line,” David Wildstein reported on the contradiction that four of the five candidates for Congress in New Jersey’s second congressional district have signed a promise to “end the county line,” yet have continued to seek the Atlantic County Democratic line at the same time.
The story stated that the pledge, did not “appear to have any teeth” and specifically sited candidate Amy Kennedy for seeking and winning the endorsement of the Atlantic City Democratic organization, and Ashley Bennett, who previously ran on the line for freeholder three years ago, with both also currently pursuing votes to obtain the line at Atlantic County Convention on March 8.
Brigid Callahan Harrison, the only candidate who did not sign the pledge, issued today the following detailed policy statement on Electoral Reform and Clear Election Policy:
The right of the people to freely and fairly decide who will represent their interests is the foundation upon which our democracy rests. But Washington DC’s culture of corruption is eating away at that foundation, and as a member of Congress from New Jersey’s second congressional district, I will prioritize several measures that will take power away from the rich and well-connected and return it to where it belongs – in the hands of the people.
I recently met with End Citizens United, a group of over 4 million members who champion electoral reform. During my meeting with them, I discussed my vision for electoral reform and clean elections. My reform agenda includes the following:
End Citizens United
- Chief among the ways we can return some power to the people is amending our constitution to overturn Citizens United, which essentially granted corporations and other monied interests the same rights as citizens. I believe that Congress and the states must work to amend the constitution by ratifying the Democracy for All Amendment, which grants Congress and the States the power to regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.
Strengthen the Federal Election Commission
- Another key aspect of keeping elections clean is through supporting the Federal Election Commission, the agency charged with enforcing our nation’s campaign finance laws. The FEC has essentially been stripped of its authority because half of the seats on the board remain unfilled during the Trump administration, rendering the board unable to function without a quorum. Any electoral reforms should statutorily mandate that, if vacancies on the FEC remain unfilled by a presidential administration for longer than 90 days, the presidential appointment is forfeited and the chair of the House Ethics Committee is empowered to appoint FEC Board members. I support increasing the ability of the FEC to enforce laws already on the books by providing the FEC with the resources it has been denied.
- I will work to pass the Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections Act, which will strengthen the FEC’s ability to enforce current campaign finance laws.
Get Foreign Money Out of US Elections
- I resolve to help keep foreign money out of US elections by supporting the Get Foreign Money Out of US Elections Act, which restricts the ability of foreign corporations to spend money in US election, and the DISCLOSE Act, which prohibits foreign interests from creating dark money organizations or shell corporations in order to influence US elections.
- I would advocate for passage of the Keeping Our Campaigns Honest (KOCH) Act which requires that ads placed by dark money organizations must disclose their largest donors.
- In Congress, I will support the Honest Ads Act, which would set the same standard for online political advertising as is currently required for television and radios ads.
We must make sure that our democracy remains in the people’s hands is by ensuring that the wealthy aren’t able to buy our democracy. We need to end the culture of corruption in Washington because for too long, the rich and well-connected have had disproportionate influence in our elections. That reality is in part responsible for the increasing anger and frustration that many Americans rightfully feel toward our government.