Small donor public financing incentivizes candidates to seek out many nonwealthy supporters, not just a few big donors. It enables more candidates from diverse backgrounds to run. And it amplifies the voices of regular people. Designed right, small donor public financing also permits candidates to raise and spend what they need to compete in the super PAC era, should they choose to opt in. And, because it doesn’t restrict political spending, it stands up to the current Supreme Court’s requirements.
The Brennan Center has pioneered a clear, simple proposal to counter special-interest spending: small donor public financing. Under this plan, small donations are matched and multiplied to help redirect candidates’ attention from moneyed interests to ordinary citizens.
Drawing on the experience of New York City, and elsewhere, we advocate for small donor public financing at the state level and beyond.