Five Times Conservatives Pushed for Campaign Finance Reform

Richard Painter, the Bush White House’s ethic czar, has a message: conservatives should be leading the fight for money-in-politics reform. His op-ed in the New York Times makes a strong case for reducing the influence of special interests isn’t just a good idea, it’s something all Republicans can get behind.

According to a poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS News, 84 percent of adults believe money has too much influence in political campaigns, while 71 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats favor campaign contribution limits. So Painter’s not alone. In fact, here are five times conservative leaders made the case for commonsense reform:

Lindsey Graham (Senator, R-SC; former 2016 GOP presidential candidate):

We’ve got to figure out a way to fix this mess, because basically 50 people are running the whole show…You’re going to have money dumped in this election cycle that’s going to turn off the American people. There’s going to be a need and a movement to try to control the money in politics. (Reuters).

Jon Huntsman (former Governor, R-UT; former Ambassador to China; former 2012 GOP presidential candidate):

The most critical step for restoring Americans’ trust in our political system is strengthening the power of small donors by implementing citizen funding of campaigns at the state and national levels. Right now, less than one quarter of 1 percent of Americans contribute more than $200 to federal campaigns. (Politico).

Alan Simpson (former Senator, R-WY; former chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform):

We need concrete solutions, policies that reduce the power of money, ensure that all citizens feel represented by their government and nail the bad guys responsible for breaking the rules. Without the confidence to know our democracy is functioning properly, we risk more disillusionment, more cynicism and even more public apathy toward the entire system. (Time).

John Pudner (conservative activist, helped Rep. David Brat defeat Majority Leader Eric Cantor [R-VA] in 2014; executive director of Take Back Our Republic:

Our family, our friends, our neighbors — all of whom happen to be taxpayers — deserve to have a say in who runs our country and how it is run. There’s no question that we live in a nation full of people who are rightfully suspect of the pay-to-play nature of American politics. That’s why incentives must be explored to inspire fellow citizens to open up their minds (and their wallets) to be a part of the solution. (Moyers & Company).

Trevor Potter (former Republican chairman of the Federal Election Commission; counsel to the John McCain 2008 presidential campaign):

The legislative changes that would have the most profound impact include: changing the way campaigns are funded, ensuring the activity of independent groups is actually independent of candidates and parties, disclosing the underlying sources of dark money flowing into elections and restructuring the broken FEC.(Politico).