WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton is sketching out some proposals Tuesday to curb the amount of money in politics. A look at her plan:
—Push for legislation to close “loopholes” that enable people to secretly spend millions on politics. The legislation would require outside groups that engage in significant political spending to disclose major donors and would prevent groups from moving money around to hide its original source, according to a policy outline from the campaign. Congressional approval, particularly if Republicans maintain control of both chambers, would probably be a tough sell.
—Require federal government contractors to disclose all political spending. Much of that information is already disclosed to regulators but the administration could go farther by including a disclosure requirement for spending on advocacy that is not otherwise public, such as to groups like the Sierra Club and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She says she would make this move “if Congress fails to act on common sense campaign finance reform.”
—Urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to require publicly traded companies to disclose all political spending to their shareholders. Some companies have already begun doing this.
— If Supreme Court vacancies arise, nominate justices who “value the right to vote over the right of billionaires to buy elections.” Clinton is seeking to tether the influence the wealthy have in politics to what Democrats see as an erosion of voting rights, condemning both the Citizens United decision on campaign finance and the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling that Shelby County, Ala., no longer needs federal approval before changing voting rights laws, upending the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
—Support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. This is a largely symbolic move because constitutional amendments are so rare. If elected, Clinton would become the second president to endorse amending the Constitution to roll back Citizens United. President Barack Obama said he would “love” to see that. Some Republican presidential hopefuls, including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, also have backed revisiting Citizens United through a constitutional process.
—Use taxpayer dollars to match money raised by presidential and congressional candidates. To access that public financing, candidates would have to agree to a “substantially” lower limit on how much money they can receive from any one donor. The current limit is $2,700 per donor per election, effectively $5,400 if a candidate competes in both a primary and a general election. Candidates also would have to demonstrate “sufficient public support for a viable campaign” to get the public money.