Bernie Sanders wants to radically change the way we finance elections. During a town hall meeting in Rollinsford, New Hampshire, on Sunday, Sanders announced a new bill that would reform the way we finance elections.
“We’re going to introduce legislation which will allow people to run for office without having to beg money from the wealthy and the powerful,” Sanders said.
Sanders also shared the message on Twitter.
Sanders’ announcement comes right on the heels of Jimmy Carter’s conversation with The Thom Hartmann Program, where he criticized the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United case.
“It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president.”
The bill Senator Sanders plans to introduce would counteract Citizen’s United, which Sanders criticized in his speech. He mentioned Jimmy Carter’s speech, and compared politicians to NASCAR drivers, with sponsor logos on their uniforms.
“We must overturn that decision before it’s too late. We are increasingly living in an oligarchy where big money is buying politicians,” Sanders told the crowd.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that America is no longer a democracy. The Inquisitr reported on a Princeton study in September, 2014, that the country had become an oligarchy. Researchers from Princeton and Northwestern examined data from a wide variety of initiatives over the course of twenty years, and found that Congress has been inactive on issues Americans care a lot about. The primary example was control of greenhouse gases.
Sanders and Jimmy Carter aren’t the only ones echoing the sentiments of the Princeton study. The Huffington Post published a piece on Friday evening about the state of campaigning affairs in America. Super PAC funding was disclosed on Friday, and the outlook is bleak. A majority of funding for the upcoming election came in the form of large checks from corporations and wealthy donors. It’s the first time in over a century that’s been the case. Nearly everyone in the running benefitted from Super PACs. Sanders is an outlier, with 76.5 percent his donations coming from individuals donating $200 or less, totaling $10.5 million in contributions from small donors, according to his campaign page.
Bernie Sanders hopes that the proposed legislation would help these issues get addressed by leveling the playing field and making elections more competitive. Sanders also hopes the bill would give politicians more time to spend with constituents, discussing the issues that are important to the average citizen.
Senator Sanders’ campaign is rapidly picking up some celebrity endorsements. Sarah Silverman tweeted her support for Bernie Sanders on Saturday, referring to him as an “underdog.”
Danny DeVito also shared a message of support for Sanders via Twitter following the announcement. DeVito referred to Sanders as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke’s Jedi mentor from Star Wars, tweeting “Bernie Sanders… you’re our only hope.”
[Image via Scott Olson / Getty Images]