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We’re asking every candidate for the White House to go on the record about what they will do to strengthen our democracy. You can learn more about the issues, and our solutions below.

Your conduct on the campaign trail shows voters where your commitments are for transparency, accountability and ethics.

As a candidate for President, I pledge to…

  • Publicly disavow and reject support from Super PACs and other independent expenditure groups that let special interests funnel millions of dollars into our elections.
  • Release the past decade’s worth of your personal and business tax returns to the public, so voters can be aware of any financial entanglements and potential conflicts of interest.
  • Pledge to identify and resolve any conflicts of interest for yourself, top campaign officials, and Cabinet appointees by undergoing ethics vetting by an independent third-party during a presidential transition.
  • Highlight democracy issues — voting rights, ending gerrymandering, and curbing big money in politics — in your platform, campaign materials, website and stump speeches, drawing connections between democracy and other issues you discuss.
  • Pledge to fund your campaign primarily with small-dollar donations of $200 or less, so that you are accountable to ordinary supporters, not wealthy special interests, and refuse to grant special access to high-dollar donors and bundlers.
  • Publicly disclose the identities of bundlers (supporters who solicit high-dollar donations on a candidate’s behalf) and the amounts they raised, so access to your campaign cannot be bought in secret — and support legislation to make such disclosure mandatory.

Leading our country means leading the way forward for a strong, accessible, and representative democracy for every American.

If elected President, I will endorse, prioritize and work aggressively to…

  • Enact the full slate of common sense reforms in the For the People Act, including Automatic Voter Registration, citizen-funded elections, and impartial redistricting commissions, and support restoring the Voting Rights Act’s full protections.
  • End the legislative filibuster, enacting Senate rules changes to ensure that a minority of Senators can’t shut down all action on legislation and judicial nominees.
  • Ensure full voting rights for every American citizen, including those who are currently incarcerated, on parole, or have prior felony convictions.
  • Grant full rights of statehood, including voting Congressional representation and self-determination for the District of Columbia.
  • Pass the National Popular Vote interstate compact to fix the broken Electoral College and ensure voters in all 50 states have a say in presidential elections.

The next President will have the power to take concrete action that will repair and strengthen our democratic institutions.

By the end of my first year in office, I pledge to…

  • Appoint an Attorney General who will protect voters by adding vote-suppressing jurisdictions into the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance process — and will enforce campaign finance and ethics laws that protect our democracy.
  • Appoint a Federal Communications Commission chair who will restore the 2015 Net Neutrality rules, block monopolistic mergers by media and telecom corporations, and protect the Lifeline program that helps low-income Americans afford broadband Internet.
  • Fully and capably staff executive agencies that protect our democracy, including a Federal Election Commission that will enforce campaign finance laws, a Securities and Exchange Commission that will shine a light on corporate political influence, and an Election Assistance Commission that will help voters in all 50 states exercise their rights.
  • Appoint a “democracy czar” in your administration who is tasked with restoring public confidence in our democracy and its ability to represent us.
  • Issue an executive order requiring corporations that do business with the federal government to disclose their political spending, protecting our right to know who is using taxpayer dollars to influence our elections.
  • Close the “revolving door” in Washington by restricting for-profit corporate lobbyists from working in the White House, banning “golden parachute” payouts for appointees from the private sector, and fully complying with all Office of Government Ethics guidelines.

Additional Information

Common Cause members and the public are interested to know where you stand on additional democracy ideas that some candidates have proposed, like reforming the Supreme Court, lowering the voting age, or expanding voting rights to non-citizens. What do you think about these reforms? And, are there any other ways you want to make our democracy more representative, reflective, accessible, or accountable?

Democracy is on the ballot in 2020.

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