Reform Campaign Finance

Since 2000, more than 85 percent of the candidates for House seats who spent more money won their elections.

The rising cost of elections is out of control and getting worse with time. In 2018, in House races, 91 percent of those who outspent their opponents won their elections, while in the Senate, the number was 84 percent.

In 2012, the average cost of a U.S. Senate campaign was $10.47 million. Elizabeth Warren spent $42.5 million to win her Senate seat in Massachusetts. The average cost of a House campaign in 2012 was $1.7 million. In the 2016 Pennsylvania Senate race between Republican Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, $164 million was spent. Congress spends as much as 50 percent of its time fundraising. Would we rather have our public servants representing the people and attending to the nation’s business or raising money?

The Solutions

  1. Eliminate any campaign contributions to candidates from businesses, unions, or any other organizations, including political action committees.

  2. Prohibit out-of-state money in state elections.

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Saving our democracy starts with an educated citizenry that isn't afraid to break from party lines. In this Playbook, Trek Bicycle President John Burke proposes 16 detailed solutions to our country's biggest challenges that are rooted in fact not ideology.