U.S. PIRG, the federation of Public Interest Research Groups, released a study today about the potential for public financing at the national level.
New Study Shows Potential Impact of a Small Donor Matching Program on 2016 Presidential Race
Candidates with more small donors would narrow gap or out-fundraise candidates relying more on large donors
Candidates in the 2016 presidential race would see a dramatic shift in their fundraising, and have a powerful incentive to focus more on small donors under a proposed small donor public financing system, according to a study released on Tuesday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (U.S. PIRG). Using candidate filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) through July, “Boosting the Impact of Small Donors: How Matching Funds Would Reshape the 2016 Presidential Election” examines the impact of a program that matches small contributions with limited public funds for candidates who agree not to accept large donations.
“Right now, the vast majority of funds raised in this election are coming from big donors writing checks exponentially larger than most Americans can afford,” said Dan Smith, Democracy Program Director for U.S. PIRG Education Fund and author of the study. “It doesn’t have to be that way. A small donor matching system would put democracy back in the hands of ordinary Americans.”
“With Washington insiders and wealthy donors dominating our democracy, everyday Americans are yearning for a voice again in our government,” said Congressman John Sarbanes (MD), the author of the Government by the People Act. “There’s no question that by creating a small-donor matching system, we can give candidates a viable way to fund their campaigns, and most importantly, give ordinary people more power in our democracy”