Golden Takes Action to Remove Big Money from Politics, Helps Pass Landmark Democracy Reform and Anti-Corruption Bill

March 11, 2019
Press Release
H.R. 1 passes the House with Golden amendment to strengthen clean elections system

WASHINGTON — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) voted for a comprehensive package of reforms today designed to strengthen our democracy by removing big money from politics, helping more Americans exercise their right to vote, and ensuring government officials act in the public interest. The legislation, the For the People Act (H.R. 1), included an amendment offered by Golden to bar candidates who have committed campaign finance violations from accessing a new federal matching system.

“I work for Mainers, not special interests,” said Congressman Golden. “Maine people have made it clear they want to take big money out of politics and return our government to the people. That’s why one of my first acts as a congressman was to cosponsor the For the People Act. The legislation we passed today will shine a light on dark money in our elections, ensure our leaders work in the best interest of the people they represent, and help restore faith and trust in our democracy.”

During his campaign, Golden made a commitment to prioritize serious campaign finance reform. Passage of the For the People Act is a critical first step to honoring that commitment. The bill would be the most comprehensive democracy reform in decades.

Golden amended the bill to include strict requirements for candidates using a new federal matching system for small-dollar contributions. The amendment bars from the matching program candidates who have violated campaign finance law.

The For the People Act includes a number of reforms that will limit the power of big money in politics and make government more accountable to Maine people, including:

  • Helping more citizens in Maine and across the country vote by creating automatic voter registration nation-wide;
  • Taking dark money into the sunlight by implementing stronger rules for ad disclosure and requiring all organizations reveal their large donors;
  • Ensuring equal access to the ballot box by restoring the Voting Rights Act;
  • Helping stop partisan gerrymandering by appointing non-partisan commissions to oversee redistricting; and
  • Limiting the influence of big money in politics by encouraging candidates to seek small-dollar donations.

Maine has been a leader in campaign finance reform, passing the Maine Clean Elections Act in 1996 to establish a public financing system for candidates for state offices and to remove the need for big dollar donors to run for office. Maine’s voters expanded clean elections by referendum in 2015. H.R. 1 would follow Maine’s lead in these reforms by expanding access to public financing and making it easier for regular people to run for office.