Bullock for President
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Governor Bullock Announces Plan to Stop Elected Officials from Full-Time Fundraising

Plan Would Force Elected Officials to Do Their Jobs, Prohibit Filing for Re-Election Until Halfway Through Their Terms
New York, NY – Today on MSNBC with Ali Velshi, Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced a new plan that forces elected officials to put campaigning on hold and do what they were sent to Washington to do: govern. Voters are forced to endure an almost never-ending barrage of campaign ads and fundraising emails while elected officials in Washington spend nearly half their days soliciting donations from wealthy donors and big corporations.

Governor Bullock’s plan is straightforward: shorten campaigns and make Congress and the President spend at least half their terms actually doing the job they were elected to do before filing for re-election and raising money.

“Expecting our elected leaders to spend at least half of their time actually doing their jobs might sound radical in DC, but for the rest of us it’s just common sense,” said Montana Governor Steve Bullock. “Washington hasn’t passed a budget on time in more than 20 years, yet members of Congress spend half their days soliciting donations from wealthy donors and big corporations. It’s time for our elected officials to do their job instead of spending their time on a neverending re-election campaign.”

Bullock’s proposal is part of a sweeping new plan to restore our democracy and make Washington work again. Read the full plan here.

Highlights from the plan:

Shorten Campaigns and Get Washington Back to Work

  • Require federal elected officials to spend at least half of their term working before filing for re-election.
  • That means no chasing donors, no PAC checks, no fundraising — not even setting up a campaign committee — until they first do the job they were elected to do.  
  • As soon as our elected leaders go to Washington, they turn around and start running for re-election. Congress hasn’t passed a budget on time in more than 20 years, yet they spent nearly 1.5 million hours fundraising in just the last term.
  • When members of Congress spend nearly every day chasing donations, that means they spend almost every day listening to the interests behind that campaign cash. No wonder nothing seems to get done any more.
  • Governor Bullock’s plan will reduce the influence of corporations and wealthy donors, limit the power of incumbency, and force our representatives to do the job they were elected to do.
Combat the Influence of Money in Politics

  • Propose a 28th amendment to the Constitution to reverse Citizens United.
  • Require federal contractors to disclose all of their political spending and contributions, for both existing contractors and those applying for federal contracts.
  • Root out foreign money in our elections by requiring non-profit organizations and corporations to certify that none is used in any of their political spending.
  • Require companies to disclose their political spending if they are publicly-traded.
  • Pass the Disclose Act to require transparency in political spending and strengthen prohibitions on foreign money in US elections.
  • Require dark money groups to disclose all spending over $5,000.
  • Modernize campaign finance laws to require disclosures for online and digital advertising in elections.
Fix How Washington Works

  • End the filibuster.
  • Prevent Members of Congress from serving on boards of corporations, associations, or nonprofits while serving in office.
  • Get the FEC off the sidelines by increasing fines for violations, referring more cases for prosecution, and appointing only five members to the FEC so it can’t deadlock. 
Make it Easier to Vote

  • Require states to adopt minimum periods of early voting, both in-person and absentee.
  • Require states to allow same-day voter registration — something only 17 states and DC currently offer.
  • Prevent states from purging voter rolls simply because registered voters did not vote in previous federal elections. 
  • Make Election Day a national holiday and incentivize automatic voter registration.
  • Ensure that tribal IDs are accepted as documentation for registration or voting.
  • Require states and local governments to have enough polling places to serve their population, including in largely minority areas.
  • Expand voting rights to 17-year-olds for primaries who will be 18 by the general election. 
Improve Election Security

  • Invest in new equipment, poll worker training, and protections for election systems from both physical and cyber threats.
  • Require voting technology vendors to disclose cyber incidents to state and federal authorities within twenty-four hours of an incident.
  • Direct federal agencies to work with technology companies to create standards for removing misleading campaign information.
Stand Up for Voting Rights

  • Update the Voting Rights Act. Ensure all voters have access to the ballot box by applying the VRA to states and localities with examples of discrimination in the last 25 years.
  • Restore the voting rights of the 6.2 million Americans who were previously convicted of a felony and have served their time.
  • End gerrymandering by requiring states to establish independent redistricting commissions.

Governor Bullock has been a national leader on campaign finance reform and has been called “the biggest threat to Citizens United.” As Attorney General, he argued the first appeal of Citizens United all the way to the Supreme Court. As Governor, he kicked dark money out of his state’s elections and banned foreign money. This year, he successfully sued the Trump Administration over transparency rules for dark money groups seeking to influence our elections. As a candidate for President, he refuses help from corporate PACs and dark money groups and has centered his campaign around ending the toxic influence of money in politics.