Regular People Must Be Able to Run for Office

Feb 2, 2021
In The News

I am fed up with the obscene costs of elections and the nauseating levels of political spending. Nationally, $14 billion was spent on the 2020 elections, with $234 million going towards the Ernst/Greenfield Senate race, the most expensive campaign in Iowa’s history. It’s no wonder that America’s politics have been overwhelmingly dominated by the ultra-wealthy and well-connected. So how can you and I, ordinary people with modest means and good ideas, ever hope to run for office? Well, finally there is corrective action! H.R. 1, or the “For the People Act” is a bill introduced in Congress to strengthen voting rights, reform ethics laws, and change campaign finance for the better. H.R. 1 fundamentally transforms the way that candidates raise money. It addresses “dark money,” requiring political organizations to disclose big donors. It also establishes a 6x1 matching system for small-dollar donations to presidential and congressional campaigns, with funds coming from a surcharge on settlements involving corporate wrongdoing (think Wells Fargo or Purdue Pharma). Reforming money in politics amplifies support from regular people, so that many more of us can run for office without chasing mega-donors. Iowa’s representatives should vote for H.R. 1.