Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley recently issued a detailed campaign finance reform plan containing a number of provisions that would help reduce the power of big money in American politics and elevate the voices of average voters. Among a host of worthy ideas, O’Malley proposes:
- Passing and implementing the federal Government By the People Act to publicly fund congressional elections, which will allow ordinary citizens to play an integral role in funding campaigns.
- Overhauling the Federal Election Commission, which as it currently stands is perpetually deadlocked and unable to carry out its enforcement responsibilities.
- Through the FEC, strengthening disclosure requirements and restrictions on coordinated campaign activity.
- Pushing for passage of the DISCLOSE Act, which would help eliminate the growing tide of “dark money” – spending by groups that conceal their donors from the public.
O’Malley’s push for fairer and more transparent elections would address an issue of great concern to a large, diverse swath of the American public.
The first Democratic presidential debate on Oct. 13 will likely feature at least three candidates who have put forth strong proposals for campaign finance reform.
It will provide a valuable opportunity for these candidates, and others, to discuss the best way to empower average voters in a political era characterized by unprecedented amounts of outside spending, including “dark money,” as a result of Citizens United.