Dems' Latest Attempt to Kill Public Finance For Green Candidates: The Freedom To Vote (But Not For Who You Want) Act
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.
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.
HR1/S1 Hypocrisy: under the guise of ‘For the People’, Democrats support voters rights, but suppress voter choice
With S1 going to markup before the U.S. Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, May 11, the inherent hypocrisy behind HR1/S1 - the ‘For the People Act’ must be called out. But it won't happen as part of the public hearing process, because there won’t be any one present that will raise it.
From the Democratic Party side, the Rules Committee hearing is expected to focus on responding to concerns from election officials about requirements and timelines related to HR1/S1’s mandates for early voting, voting by mail, automatic voter registration and voting system standards. From the Republican side, it will be to propose amendments to weaken the voting protection rights contained in the bill.Read more
Demand Sens. Warren & Markey abolish the poison pill in S.1
Call Senator Elizabeth Warren at (202) 224-4543 and Senator Edward J. Markey at (202) 224-2742. Urge them to vote against the For the People Act until the repressive and cost-prohibitive restraints on minor candidates and third parties are removed.Read more
This will be the first of several articles that delve into the onslaught against a true democracy's ability to represent the best interests of the people. With these efforts to suppress individual and party participation, we are doomed to governance committed only to policies promoted by the self interests of a very small, unrepresentative elite power structure.Read more
On Feb. 15, Gallup released a poll saying support for a “third party” is at an all-time high. On March 22, state Sen. Roberta Lange, D-Las Vegas, introduced SB 292, which would make it harder for new or previously unqualified political parties to appear on the ballot in Nevada.
Supported by Democrats in the Legislature, SB 292 would double the number of signatures required to get on the ballot, from 1 percent to 2 percent of the last U.S. House statewide vote. It also would require the signatures to be spread equally over all four Nevada U.S. House districts.Read more
For integrity’s sake, HR1/S1 needs to be clean of political conflicts of interest. But in its campaign finance section, it is not.
At no time since the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act have voting rights in the United States been under greater threat.
In the 10 years preceding the November 2020 elections, 25 states passed lawsrestricting the ability to vote. Since November 2020, Republican state lawmakers have introduced more than 250 additional bills in 43 states to restrict voting, most surgically designed to suppress the vote of millions of Americans — especially Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian and the young.Read more
U.S. democracy is in existential crisis.
The country already suffers from unrepresentative winner-take-all, single-seat-district legislative elections, a two-party duopoly, partisan gerrymandering, the corrupting influence of big money in politics, and an Electoral College and US Senate that give vastly outsized influence to some voters over others. In the case of the Electoral College, it can also prevent the presidential candidate receiving the most votes from being elected.Read more
The “For the People Act” (H.R.1/S.1) passed the House on March 3 and is now under consideration by the Senate. The bill was also adopted by the House in 2019 but had no chance of passage in the Senate with the Republicans in control. But now that this voting and elections reform bill has become a real possibility with Democratic control, it is receiving closer scrutiny from movement progressives, if not yet congressional progressives.Read more
How Democrats' huge election reform package could stifle dissent
Congressional Democrats this month passed HR 1, dubbed the “For the People Act,” which they say is nothing short of a rescue plan for American democracy. It contains a long list of new regulations that seek to bolster participation in elections.
It’s one of those bills with a universally agreeable name. How could anyone be against The People?Read more