Last Friday, House Democrats revealed details of their first bill in the new Congress — an anti-corruption bill to get corporate money out of politics and expand voter rights.
The bill is called House Resolution 1 (HR 1). And Republican John Sarbanes (MD) says the goal is to have it ready to be voted on by January 3rd, which is the first day of the new session. Campaign finance reform isn’t the only thing the bill covers, however. Also included are proposed changes to strengthen the government’s ethic laws and expand voting rights.
What would HR1 change with respect to the way campaigns are financed?
The proposal is based on Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes’s “Government By the People Act of 2017.” Basically, it would offer subsidies to individuals who want to make small contributions to political candidates. And to be eligible to receive these contributions, candidates would have to agree to restrictions on how they finance their campaigns.
More specifically, individuals could receive a one-time federal tax credit of up to $50 to offset their House campaign contributions. To be eligible, individuals would have to contribute less than $300 to candidates and committee, including PACs.
Candidates who participate and receive small-dollar contributions would be entitled to a 6 to 1 match of the amount they receive. And what’s more, if candidates agree to a $1,000 maximum contribution cap from any individual and agree to obtain at least $50,000 in total individual contributions — the match they’re entitled to increases by 50 percent.
It has also been widely reported that House Democrats will also pursue legislation to enforce higher standards of disclosure and transparency in donations. Future bills will, among other things, aim to reveal dark money sources, push for enhanced disclosure for online ads, limit Super PAC and campaign coordination, and revamp the Federal Election Commission’s oversight and enforcement capabilities.
What does Goods Unite Us have to do with this?
The Goods Unite Us app and website are politically agnostic, but we aim to get corporate money out of politics by providing transparency to consumers about how much money brands and companies contribute to politics and to which party. As proven by our recent metrics and (insane) growth, citizens want to put their money where there vote it! It’s one way — and right now the only way other than voting — that we as consumers can start to hold brands and companies accountable for playing politics.
Recently we’ve been inundated with amazing stories from consumers that use our app and website:
“I have been pleased to find out that many of the companies I already deal with are more conservative than democratic leaning in their contributions. I have decided several times to not shop at a particular store for obvious reasons: Academy, Martha Stewart Magazine, etc…
I would prefer a balance in some but overall am happy to see that many of the companies that I do business with are more in line with me than not.
Thanks for the app!”
~Name kept anonymous GUU
“I last filled the tank of my Hybrid Honda Accord at a Circle K, because they had a better rating for campaign finance than any other gas station in my area. I tend to fill up at Costco for the same reason. I’m looking at ways to reduce my grocery shopping at Kroger (which is the most convenient grocery to my home) and move it more to Aldi, among others, though that is slower going. 🙂
Thank you for what you do — we need to get corporate money out of politics entirely, but in the meantime, I can at least make sure I am supporting companies who support more liberal candidates.”
~Name kept anonymous by GUU
Would HR 1 be a good start to cleaning up our government? We think so!
And, in the meantime, if you want to affect change everyday with your purchases, find out where you can make changes by taking our quick 10-question survey! You’re score might surprise you!