Posted on October 3, 2012
Empowering Small Donors in Federal Elections
Given the surge of unlimited, often secretive spending in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, it is more important than ever for small donors to balance the role played by larger, influence-seeking donors in federal elections, a report from the
Brennan Center for Justice
and Democracy 21 argues. According to Empowering Small Donors in Federal Elections (40 pages, PDF), providing public matching funds on a leveraged basis for small donations to candidates at the state and national levels would increase the participation of smaller donors and transform political candidates into agents of civic participation. Funded by the
Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford, Joyce, JPB, Kohlberg, MacArthur, Mertz Gilmore, Open Society, and Overbrook foundations, the report outlines the potential elements of such a system, including a five-to-one match of up to $250, reducing contribution limits by half for candidates participating in the system, a cap on public funds available per race, and a qualifying threshold.