Crack Down on Corruption
Nearly every issue we face as a nation is caught in the grip of corruption
Do politicians care about what citizens think?
A study by Princeton and Northwestern professors looked at more than 20 years worth of data to answer a simple question: Does the government represent the people?
What they found was extremely unsettling: The opinions of 90% of Americans have essentially no impact at all.
Name an issue you care about. Any issue at all. If we want to make progress on that issue, we have to get serious about corruption in our government.
How do we end corruption in America?
Crack down on lobbyists and conflicts of interest
Voters should have the greatest influence in government and over their representatives, not lobbyists or special interest groups.
To curb the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups, we support:
Expanding the definition of “lobbyist”
Banning lobbyist donations to elected officials
A cooling-off period between serving in office and working as a lobbyist
Strengthening penalties on attempts to buy political influence
Banning legislators from trading individual stocks
Banning Members of Congress from fundraising during congressional work hours
Fight bribery by changing how elections are funded
To reduce money’s influence in politics, RepresentUs supports strengthening campaign finance laws and limiting campaign funding. Safeguards must be put in place so that spending by wealthy individuals, corporations, Political Action Committees (PACs), and Super PACs don’t determine elections – voters do.
Expanding public finance to even the playing field for candidates
Programs like Democracy Dollars
Caps on campaign spending
Requiring disclosures on sources of major donations
Ending dark money
Banning campaign spending by foreign-influenced corporations
We’re working city by city, state by state to end corruption in our government.
Will you join the movement?
Do you support overturning Citizens United?
Yes. Learn more about Citizens United.
Is lobbying legal?
There is nothing inherently wrong with lobbying. Lobbying encourages people to play an active role in their government and it’s protected by the First Amendment as our right “to petition the government.” But because politicians are so dependent on money from lobbyists and the special interests they represent to fund their political careers, Congress ends up passing laws to keep the lobbyists and their clients happy, instead of laws that benefit the American people.
Learn more: Is Lobbying Good or Bad?
What is the lobbyist “revolving door”?
“The revolving door” refers to when members of Congress leave office and immediately start working for lobbying firms where they can influence legislation. This has become shockingly common: In the 1970s, less than 5% of retiring legislators went on to become lobbyists. Now, half of retiring senators and a third of retiring House members do.
Learn more: 5 Crazy Facts About Lobbyists
Can Congress insider trade?
While the law prohibits Congress from engaging in insider trading, members of Congress are still allowed to buy and sell individual stocks while in office. Lawmakers are privy to massive amounts of information to which the general public simply doesn’t have access to. These same politicians are responsible for crafting legislation that regulates, or deregulates, American corporations.
Read more about the STOCK Act and why it needs fixing.
What is dark money?
Dark money refers to any money spent to influence an election that comes from an undisclosed source. Most dark money goes toward political ads meant to influence voters. We’re all familiar with the constant barrage of advertising during election season, but we often don’t know who is paying for it. The secrecy behind this persuasive messaging makes it impossible for American voters to consider the credibility and motives of the wealthy donors funding it. Dark money enables billionaires and corporations to buy our elections without us even realizing.
Read more about dark money.
What are “Democracy Dollars”?
Democracy Dollars, sometimes known as Democracy Vouchers, is a public campaign financing policy that gives voters money to give to a certain candidate of their liking. It allows the public to become more invested in a candidate’s campaign and also works to curb the influence of big donors and dark money.
Our Anti-Corruption Campaigns
Maine: Eliminate Foreign Influence in Elections
Mar 8 2023
Eliminate Foreign Influence in Elections
Virginia: Campaign Finance Reform
Mar 8 2023
Campaign Finance Reform
Nov 8 2022
In 2022, voters in Oakland passed the Oakland Fair Elections Act to take power away from dark-money groups and give it back to the voters.
Nov 7 2020
In 2020, voters in Oregon voted to amend the the state constitution to allow the legislature or citizen initiatives to increase transparency, limit contributions, and root out the influence of dark money in Oregon’s politics.
Jun 17 2019
In 2019, voters in New Jersey passed the "End Dark Money" bill which promises to bring needed reform to a state plagued with a history of corruption.
If you are interested in anti-corruption, now is the time to get involved. You can help us pass anti-corruption policies in cities and states across America.
Anti-Corruption News & Commentary
Leaked: RepresentUs Debate Strategy
Aug 22 2023
Instead of attacking other candidates - or strategically avoiding attacking other candidates - why not talk about America’s corruption problem?Read More
Everything You Need to Know About American Democracy Summit 2023
Jul 21 2023
We’re gathering in Los Angeles September 27-29 to create a new culture of democracy at American Democracy Summit (ADS) 2023.Read More
RepresentUs Welcomes Reintroduction of Freedom To Vote Act
Jul 19 2023
This transformational democracy reform package would ensure voter rights are protected.Read More