DARE to Make a Difference in Our Elections
Written by Kristen Caruana
Standing before his colleagues and the crowd in the sweltering August heat, Rep. Dennis Kucinich declared that while it was hot outside, if we don’t act on campaign finance reform we’re going to find ourselves “somewhere even hotter.”
Kuncinich’s warning of a proverbial Congressional-hell does not seem far off given our current campaign arena. Citizens United has opened the floodgates on unlimited spending from secret sources, and the time has come for decisive action to reclaim our democracy.
This past Wednesday, Democratic House members held a press conference on their DARE agenda. In addition to Kucinich, the group included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, House Democratic Caucus chair John Larson, DISCLOSE Act sponsor Chris Van Hollen, as well as Representatives John Sarbanes, James McGovern, Adam Schiff, and David Cicilline. In addition to Common Cause, organizations such as Public Campaign Action Fund, Public Citizens, and Americans for Campaign Reform came out to the press conference in support, and Nick Nyhart of Public Campaign spoke in praise of DARE.
DARE outlines four actions the Democrats plan to take: Disclose, to disclose the source of donations to campaigns and expenditures; Amend, to amend the Constitution and reverse the Citizens United decision; Reform, to reform the campaign system in favor of low dollar funding of elections; and Elect, to vote leaders who will do these things into office.
Leading the press conference, Pelosi called on Congress to “honor the vows of our Founders to support a democracy that honors an election, because it is the voice of the people and not the checkbooks of the very, very few.”
We applaud Pelosi as well as the other attendees for their commitment to this cause. We earnestly hope that her efforts for transparency and reform will be as tough on her fellow Democrats as they are on the opposing party. Either way, we cannot let the momentum stop here; we too must take a stand in the fight to reclaim our elections. Contact your representatives today and ask them to support the DARE agenda!
Kristen Caruana is a rising senior at Connecticut College, where she is double majoring in government and theater. She has previously worked with Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAAP) and Connecticut College’s V-Week Campaign, fundraising for the women of Haiti, the DRC, and the Women’s Shelter of Southeastern Connecticut.