Dems' Latest Attempt to Kill Public Finance For Green Candidates: The Freedom To Vote (But Not For Who You Want) Act

"I voted" button with warning ""Freedom To Vote Act” Undermines Voter Choice"

Email Congress now to save the Presidential Election Campaign Fund that progressive candidates have relied on for decades!

The "Freedom To Vote Act", S2747, has just been introduced to replace the "For The People Act", also known as HR1. Grassroots Democracy defenders will recall HR1 contained poison pills that would have cut off our access to public matching funds for presidential campaigns — one of our most important resources for ballot access and nationwide campaigning — by quintupling the amount of money candidates would have to raise to qualify.

Since HR1 contained long-overdue voter protections, Greens campaigned to amend HR1, remove the poison pills, and pass the provisions that protect our rights at the ballot box.

HR1 ultimately failed to pass the Senate in any form. Now, the Democrats are back with the “Freedom To Vote Act” and a new approach to killing public funding for Green presidential candidates: eliminating the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, entirely!

Because, apparently, the “Freedom To Vote” does not include the freedom to vote for candidates who represent your values or the freedom to organize electorally against the parties of War and Wall Street.

Background

Though pieces of this new bill will protect elections and voting rights — which need to be passed — S2747 still contains poison pills for grassroots, multi-party democracy: 

  • Eliminating the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, which Green presidential candidates have used for presidential primary matching funds

  • Permitting party committees to contribute $10,000 (up from the current $5,000) to House candidates (including House candidates who qualify for matching funds)

  • Qualifying for Congressional matching funds will require at least 1,000 contributors and $50,000 in contributions of $200 or less. 

The Green Party opposes the elimination of presidential matching funds and the qualifying threshold for matching funds for House candidates that is beyond the reach of most Green Party House candidates.

The Green Party supports amending S2747 to eliminate the public campaign finance section which will suppress grassroots candidates and will make it harder to pass the  good things in the bill, such as pre-empting Republican state laws for partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, election subversion, intimidation of voters and election administrators, and the disclosure of “dark money”.

Only then will S2747 truly be a “Freedom to Vote Act.”

Democrats in the states have already passed laws that make it harder for alternative party candidates to qualify for the ballot. New York Democrats passed such a law during the COVID lockdown in 2019 that is the one of the most restrictive ballot qualification laws in the nation. It cost the Green Party of New York its ballot line in 2020. This year,  Nevada passed a more difficult ballot access law that was aimed at the Green Party. 

Now, the Democrats’ new “voting rights” legislation eliminates the presidential public campaign funding program that the Green Party has made great use of, which the corporate parties abandoned long ago because they refuse to accept the $50 million cap.


  • By Howie Hawkins

The Freedom to Vote Act, the pared down voting rights legislation that Democratic Senators unveiled on September 14, must be supported to preempt GOP state laws for partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, election subversion, and intimidation of voters and election administrators.

Yet this bill also deserves vigorous protest from the Left for its public campaign financing provisions, which are effectively for the two big capitalist parties only.