is to incentivize candidates to take reform pledges that bring greater accountability to their own campaign practices, generating models of reform that demonstrate its possibility and underscore its value.
No Outside Money
Thanks to Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United and SpeechNow, it is now totally legal for corporations, super PACs, and other "outside" groups to spend unlimited amounts of money to swing the outcome of an election. Although these groups are supposed to operate independent of any candidate campaign, it is common practice for them to use underhanded tactics such as hiring candidates' former campaign staff in order to skirt this rule, and thereby the contribution limits to which they would otherwise be subject.
Already this cycle, super PACs have raised hundreds of millions of dollars, suggesting that the flood of outside money in this year's election will be worse than ever. In a post-Citizens United world where legislating our way out of the super PAC problem isn't possible, a "no outside money" pledge has the unique potential to stem the flow of outside money.
- Since 2010, 60% of super PAC money has come from just 195 people.
- Candidates were outspent by outside groups in 8 of the 10 most competitive Senate races in 2014.
- 7 out of 10 Americans believe that super PACs should be illegal.
- Because of Supreme Court decisions, there is currently no way to create a law limiting the spending activity of super PACs without amending the constitution.
The Candidates reject the following expenditures by any entity:
- independent expenditures, that is, any independent-expenditure television, radio, cable, satellite, or online advertising by a third party in support of or in opposition to a named, referenced (including by title), or otherwise identified Candidate;
- electioneering communications, that is, any television, radio, cable, or satellite advertising by a third party that names, references (including by title), or otherwise identifies a Candidate; and
- coordinated communications, that is, any paid advertisement that a Candidate or anyone acting on his or her behalf coordinates with a third party.
Countering Rejected Expenditures. Any "independent expenditure" or "electioneering communication,” or “coordinated communication” shall be considered a "rejected expenditure." If any rejected expenditure is made, the campaign committee of the Candidate that is advantaged by the rejected expenditure must, within three days of the expenditure, donate 50% of the cost of the rejected expenditure to a non-political, non-partisan, public charity of the opposing Candidate's choice.Read Full Pledge