Citizens United

My very first case as a young lawyer, on which I worked even before graduating from law school and throughout my short litigation career, was Shays v. FEC. I represented the House co-sponsors of the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2003, and we won in the D.C. Circuit limits on Federal Election Commission regulations that, until our intervention, undermined the goal of the statute to take corporate soft money out of elections. We won that case before the D.C. Circuit in 2006, four years before the Supreme Court destroyed that era of my work in its infamous Citizens United decision.

Making election day a national holiday (and other measures to address voting rights) will naturally erode the influence of capital by increasing the responsiveness to popular will.

I would create a democracy dividend which would include progressive income tax credits of up to $100 for contributions to political campaigns, allowing working class voters to influence the construction of which voices they get to choose among in elections.

I would force Super PACs into the open, and lose the loophole allowing contribution limits to be flaunted by people supporting parties by giving the max to multiple candidates; limit an individual’s contributions across campaigns per cycle (which would transform political fundraising, by generally ramping down the arms race); stopping voter rolls from being purged, and overturning onerous requirements for identification in order to vote.