Money in Politics

Today, new forms of big money threaten to undermine American democracy. Citizens United and other court rulings obliterated a century of campaign finance laws. Now a handful of special interests threaten to dominate political funding, often through Super PACs and shadowy nonprofits. Public trust in government has plummeted.

The Brennan Center is a leading intellectual force in developing policies that ensure the public interest can counter the power of special interests.

First, we seek to advance a new system of small donor public financing for federal and state elections. This would provide multiple matching funds for small gifts and give ordinary voters a far louder voice in presidential and congressional elections.

Second, to counter the outsized role of big money in politics, we must flood the system with millions of new voters. Our signature pro-participation reform, Voter Registration Modernization, would use digital technology to register all eligible citizens, automatically and permanently.

We also seek a new legal context for money in politics: a long-term drive to overturn Citizens United so that the Constitution is once again read as a charter for a self-governing democracy.

We work with policy makers and activists to help draft and enact legislation, defend campaign finance laws in court, and promote innovative public financing solutions nationwide, particularly small donor matching fund systems.

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