Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference in Support of DARE Agenda to Clean Up Elections and Break Partisan Gridlock

Aug 1, 2012
Press Release

Contact: Nadeam Elshami/Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn, Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson, and House Democrats staged a rally in support of the Democratic DARE agenda to bring clean campaigns to our electoral system and ensure that the voice of the many is not drowned out by the pocketbooks of the few. Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for bringing us together here to honor the vows of our Founders. They established, risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish a democracy where the voice and the vote of the people determined the outcomes of elections, not the checkbooks of a very, very few people. The voice of all of the American people weighing in. I’m proud to join you and salute you for your long history in trying to have public financing of the campaigns, to join our Assistant Democratic Leader, Mr. Clyburn, who has been a champion in fighting the voter suppression that is going on in our country. Chris Van Hollen, the author of the DISCLOSE Act. Congressman John Sarbanes, who has his own public financing bill. Mr. Schiff who has been a champion talking about all these issues including the amendment to the Constitution to overturn the Citizens United decision. I’m so pleased we’re here with Mr. Kucinich and Mr. Cicilline and other Members will be joining us as well. And Mr. Deutch, who has been a champion on overturning the Citizens United decision. Mr. McGovern is with us as well. The list keeps growing here but we’re all proud to be here with Public Campaign Action Fund, with Common Cause, with Public Citizens, and Americans for Campaign Reform.

“I’ve talked about our Founders and what they intended and how important it was that it is for us to honor their vows and their commitment to our country for a democracy. It’s really important though for us to recognize that the policy that happens inside the Capitol, or any capitol in our country, is related to the politics. You cannot separate the two. Walter Reuther said: ‘the bread box and the ballot box are connected.’ So if we’re to have policies that support the great middle class of our country, which is the backbone of our democracy, we have to change the politics. And that’s why we have issued this dare. As the Chairman pointed out, it’s a DARE. D, disclose. ‘I’m Nancy Pelosi and I support this ad,’ I have to say about that about my own commercials. How can these people put millions of dollars on the table with no disclosure? Amend the Constitution to overturn this ill-designed Citizens United decision. Reform so that we take it down to a place of low dollar funding of elections. What do we need this constant fundraising and long campaigns? Let’s get this down to the basics. And then elect people who will do just that. Disclose, amend, reform, elect. And when we do we will have policies that more relate to the kitchen table of the American people, rather than at the table of the special interests.

“But we’re in a situation, and why this is so urgent is that with this endless money they’re suffocating the airwaves, suffocating the airwaves with unlimited, special interest, undisclosed money. B, they’re suppressing the vote – how can that be right? And they’re poisoning the debate that average person says: ‘a pox on both your houses, I don’t know what this is all about.’ And that is a victory for the special interests in our country. It doesn’t matter who can outraise whom; it isn’t right in any event.

“So let us honor the vows of our Founders to support a democracy that honors an election because it is the voice of the people and not the checkbooks of the very, very few. And I thank my colleagues for their leadership on this, the organizations that are here with us. And it’s my privilege now to yield the floor to Nick Nyhart with Public Campaign Action Fund. Thank you, Nick, for your work in making a difference.”