After yesterday’s New Hampshire primary results were finalized, NH Rebellion Executive Director Dan Weeks issued the following statement:
"What a day for reform!
When we launched the NH Rebellion two years ago, we had one aim: to make big money corruption the defining issue of the 2016 presidential primary.
Yesterday, we saw the results. Thanks to the tireless work of thousands of volunteers and in response to voter demand, the four top vote-getters in New Hampshire have all claimed that campaign reform is a top priority.
This is one issue that just about everybody agrees on, regardless of party affiliation. Poll after poll shows that voters agree – in overwhelming numbers – that we need to fix our campaign finance system. Multiple candidates from different political parties competing to out-reform each other is just fine with us!
Big money in politics has been the ‘silent story’ of this presidential election – and it’s becoming less silent by the day. The American people have been way ahead of the political establishment in their condemnation of how our government is being corrupted by the campaign spending of billionaires and special interest groups.
At NH Rebellion, our work is far from complete. As the primaries move from New Hampshire to other states, we will continue working with partners around the country to inject our issue into the national debate. We will also ensure campaign finance reform is addressed by candidates for state offices in New Hampshire in 2016."
Last week’s poll of Iowa caucus-goers showed that campaign finance was one of the top issues people used to decide which presidential candidate to support. It was the single most important issue for one-quarter of Democratic caucus voters and among the top three issues for 64% of them.
In yesterday’s Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ landslide 60-38% victory over Sec. Hillary Clinton was linked to Sanders’ consistent condemnation of a “corrupt campaign finance system” and his calls for reform in every speech. Declaring victory in Concord last night, Sanders said, “We served notice to the political and economic establishment… that the American people will not continue to accept a corrupt campaign finance system that is undermining American democracy.”
Even so, Clinton sought to challenge Sanders’ widely-accepted claim to the reformer mantle with help of a comprehensive reform agenda of her own. In her concession speech last night, she maintained that “no one is more aggressively committed to campaign finance reform than me” and assured her supporters that “Senator Sanders and I both want to get secret, unaccountable money out of politics and [overturn] Citizens United.”
On the Republican side, Donald Trump scored a decisive victory in the NH Primary under the banner “can't be bought.” According to Trump's own estimation last night, “one of the things that really caught on, it's very important, [is] self-funding my campaign” – a sharp contrast with the millions in “special interest [and] lobbyist” money being raised by his opponents. “We were not going to let it happen,” he said. “We have to do something about it.” Although Trump has yet to release policy specifics on this or other issues, he has consistently called for full transparency, banning Super PACs, closing the revolving door, and even expressed support for small donor citizen-funded elections.
Trump's runner-up, John Kasich, also decried the millions in negative advertising as the “old politics” that must end, in a moving speech last night. Under a flurry of questioning from NH Rebels around the state, Kasich has also said he would support full transparency and nonpartisan redistricting reform, and is open to banning Super PACs and passing citizen-funded elections, as recommended by the late Republican Sen. Warren Rudman. Not far behind him, Jeb Bush this week joined Jim Gilmore and former candidate Lindsay Graham in supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United – no small feat for a Republican in today’s climate.
All four of the leading candidates received the highest scores of any credible candidates on NH Rebellion's preliminary Candidates Scorecard, which was released on January 21, 2016, the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
The NH Rebellion is best-known for its cold-weather “Walks for Democracy.” To date, more than 2,000 activists have walked a total of 30,000 miles to bring attention to the corrupting influence of large campaign contributions. The movement was inspired by the efforts of the legendary New Hampshire reformer Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who walked across America beginning in 1999 in support of campaign finance reform.
Its “We the People Pledge” describes six proposed campaign finance reforms, and is available at http://www.nhrebellion.org/pledge