Front Page News, Money and Politics

LWV Takes Strong Stance on Money in Politics

The League of Women Voters has strengthened its stand on the damaging role of big money in political campaigns and the political system.

The national League (LWVUS) has specifically called for:

  • Full public financing of Congressional as well as Presidential elections;
  • Abolishing Super PACs and spending coordinated or directed by candidates, and
  • Restrictions on direct donations and bundling by lobbyists.

In addition, LWVUS set these broader goals to combat the influence of money in politics:

  • Enhance political equality for all citizens;
  • Protect representative democracy from being distorted by big spending in election campaigns;
  • Provide voters sufficient information about candidates and campaign issues to make informed choices;
  • Ensure transparency and the public’s right to know who is using money to influence elections; and
  • Enable candidates to compete equitably for public office.

These actions resulted from a two-year study of money in politics and input from local Leagues around the country. That study led to the drafting of a new League position broadening the League’s traditional focus on preventing corruption and undue influence in government and leading to these specific calls for action.

“League members believe in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy and our recent study and new position statement on Money in Politics will reenergize and focus their work at every level of government,” said League President, Elisabeth MacNamara.

League of Women Voters of Massachusetts members actively pushed for an update of the position shortly after the 2010 Citizens United ruling, in an effort spearheaded by Concord-Carlisle League member, Becky Shannon.

Needham League member Corlette Moore McCoy and Concord-Carlisle League and LWVMA Board member Launa Zimmaro served on the national committee developing the study that led to the new position.

LWVMA President Jean Cherdack stated, “This has been a long, but gratifying journey. The new position provides an even stronger foundation for our efforts to make democracy work for all.”

The League of Women Voters has been a leader in seeking campaign finance reform at the state, local, and federal levels for more than four decades, supporting the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974 (FECA), working for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), and participating in numerous court cases, including Citizens United v. FEC (2010).