Get Big Money Out of Politics

There is too much big money in politics—and it is ruining our democracy. 

Thanks to four decades of misguided court decisions, the super-rich and corporations can spend nearly as much money as they want to promote or oppose political candidates. 

As a result, those with the most money have more influence in our political system than ordinary people. It means the wealthy have more influence over who runs for office, who wins, and who makes decisions in America. And it means politicians are more beholden to the wealthy donors than ordinary people.

All this big money not only drowns out the voices of regular people—it also causes the public to lose confidence in the political system. As that happens, participation drops and our democracy slowly erodes.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that money equals free speech—and that the American people are prohibited from restricting how much money politicians can raise and spend. We disagree. Money is not speech. Money is property and amplifies speech, but is not speech itself.  

To protect our democracy, we have to get big money out of politics. A constitutional amendment that gives citizens back the power to limit the big money in politics is a key solution. There is a nationwide effort to build awareness about how a constitutional amendment could solve the problem. 

We are also fighting to empower the voices of regular Americans by campaigning for a system that matches small contributions to candidates who don’t take money from large or corporate donors. We’re already seeing this system work in places like New York City, and we could definitely do this here in Oregon!

Campaign Updates

Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Democracy

Following the Money 2012

This report is OSPIRG Foundation’s third annual ranking of states’ progress toward “Transparency 2.0” – a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility. The past year has seen continued progress, with new states providing online access to government spending information and several states pioneering new tools to further expand citizens’ access to spending information and engagement with government.

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Blog Post | Corporate, Democracy

Success at Southern

Students and Ashland residents assembled in front of the student union to mourn the death of free and fair democratic elections in the United Stated yesterday. This was a peaceful candlelit vigil for individuals who believe corporations are not people, and thus should not be allowed to fund elections and support candidates with unlimited financial contributions. After over 160 people congregated on campus, we marched down the closed off lane of Ashland’s busiest street, Siskiyou Boulevard, chanting things like, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, corporate greed has got to go!".

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Blog Post | Democracy

March Forth on March 4th

WHEN: March 4, 4:30 pm.

WHERE: Stevenson Union at Southern Oregon University, marching to the downtown plaza, concert at the armory.

WHAT: FREE LIVE MUSIC by Father Dogue, 365 Krue and others to conclude a march and candlelight vigil to mourn the death of free and fair elections in America, to protest the influence of corporations and other special interests in politics, and to assert the right of the people of this country to a truly democratic system which places the rights of human beings before those of corporations.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Democracy

Auctioning Democracy

The vast majority of Super PACs are funded by less than 1% of the 1%, according to a new report entitled “Auctioning Democracy”.

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