Fundraising reform for Virginians
Recently I signed a pledge to support a Constitutional Amendment to address reduce the influence of "BIG" money in elections and government. With this I promise to support campaign finance reform in Virginia.
I do not plan on signing many pledges to causes or organizations as such. The biggest pledge I will make is to the people of Highland, Augusta, and Nelson Counties as well as the cities of Waynesboro and Staunton to listen to them and represent them.
American Promise is a nonpartisan organization that is dedicated to empower individuals by reducing the influence of powerful lobby groups, PAC's and organizations that gain access and leverage through large donations to campaigns. In Virginia the cost of elections has jumped almost twofold in the last decade. In 2011, the Senate and House of Delegates’ campaigns together raised $68.7 million, whereas total contributions in 2019 jumped to $121.5 million, with nearly $25 million coming from outside the state. Virginia is one of the only states that has not set legal standards for both individual and public/private sector political contributions, according to American Promise.
Corporate donations are a big problem, but so are large private donations and PAC's representing other special interest groups. I do believe that people and organizations have a voice in our nation and therefore politics, but there should also be restrictions. All donations should be restricted to $2,500 per state campaign in an election cycle whether from individuals, corporations, PAC's or other organizations.
Raising money to find the campaign to push my message out is a challenge for me and many. One other pledge I'll make is that a donation will not change access to me. It will not change a vote. It will not change how I look into the issues and what is best for the district or the state. If a donation is made with implied strings, it will be rejected or returned. I will represent all the people, it is that simple.