Money in politics is destroying our democracy. If we truly want a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, then we need real campaign finance reform.
Our government's ability to effectively represent the people is under assault by corporations' ability to spend unlimited amounts of money in elections, thanks to the Supreme Court's recent Citizens United ruling.
Citizens United gives unprecedented power to Big Oil, Wall Street, the health insurance industry and other deep-pocketed corporate special interests to put pressure on elected officials to support their positions, even if they're in direct conflict with the interest of the public. Those who don't fall in line face an unlimited barrage of expensive ads distorting their record. And too often, these special interests win and the people lose.
That's why I support a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and regulate campaign finance. I don't believe that corporations are persons deserving of constitutional rights equal to real people. They should be subject to regulations limiting their ability to influence the political process.
Beyond Citizens United, I believe we also need to stop the "revolving door" between politicians and their staff and K Street lobbying firms representing powerful corporate special interests. If elected to Congress, I will not parlay my public service into a career as a registered lobbyist. I will also prevent my congressional staff from lobbying my office if they leave for employment elsewhere.
Finally, I support public financing of elections to limit the influence of deep-pocketed corporate lobbyists and to promote the competitiveness of grassroots-powered candidates.
My commitment to reform is clear, and I have earned a reputation as a champion of campaign and ethics reform in New Mexico.
As an Albuquerque City Councilor, I passed voluntary public financing of campaigns in city elections and created the city's Office of Inspector General to examine allegations of fraud. As a State Senator, I have fought to limit individual contributions for legislative elections to $250 and for a strong Independent Ethics Commission in the State Legislature.