Richard Carlbom: 651-261-1306
Dean’s Plan To End the Culture of Corruption in Congress
Dean Phillips Leads Call for Reform To Be the First Item on the Agenda in 2019
Dean Phillips led a coalition of House challengers who are calling on Congress to make a government and electoral reform bill the first item on the agenda for the next Congress in 2019. In a letter to the House of Representatives, coordinated by Phillips and 11 other House candidates, they write:
“Restoring faith in our elections and in the integrity of our elected officials should be a top priority that all members of Congress can agree upon. Without these reforms we will be unable to truly regain the public’s trust or tackle the challenges of our day, like the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs, the opioid epidemic, or building an economy that is strong for working families. For those reasons, these reforms must be sweeping, and they must be bold. They must be the very first item Congress addresses. We must not yield on this demand, the American public is counting on us.”
Key elements of the bill would include reforming the role of money in politics to ensure more transparency and accountability in our elections, eliminating foreign money from our political system, limiting the undue influence of mega-donors and special interests, incentivizing small-dollar donors, as well as lobbying reform, ethics reform, redistricting reform, and voting-rights protections.
“When I entered this race more than a year-and-a-half ago, I was warned not to make money in politics the center of this campaign,” said Phillips. “But I grew up in a Minnesota that placed principle over party and common interest above special interests, and I’ve made it my mission from day one to end the culture of corruption and bring meaningful change to Washington. This proposal would mean real progress toward repairing our government and fixing our broken politics. That’s what our campaign is all about — and everyone’s invited.”
“The American people know that Washington isn’t working for them. They want candidates who will unrig the system and put the people ahead of mega donors and special interests,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller. “Erik Paulsen is the 6th-biggest taker of special-interest money in Congress, and is spending those millions on the kind of dishonest TV ads and political attacks that people are sick and tired of. Dean Phillips, meanwhile, is sending a strong message to Washington, that when he’s elected, things will be different. End Citizens United is proud to have endorsed Dean, and we look forward to working with him to help pass meaningful reforms that clear the way for Congress to do the people’s business.”
More than 64,475 individuals — and zero special interest PACs, corporations, unions or members of Congress — have donated to Phillips’s campaign, at an average contribution of just $31. In April, Phillips challenged Congressman Paulsen to join him in signing the Minnesota Way Pledge, a mutual pact which would have eliminated all special interest money and self funding; reduced or eliminated spending by outside groups; and ensured at least two accessible, public events per month. Paulsen has refused to sign.