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Fund for the Republic is a nonpartisan, nonprofit grantmaking group committed to reducing the influence of money in American politics and policymaking.

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Presentation on theme: "Fund for the Republic is a nonpartisan, nonprofit grantmaking group committed to reducing the influence of money in American politics and policymaking."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fund for the Republic is a nonpartisan, nonprofit grantmaking group committed to reducing the influence of money in American politics and policymaking. Flathead Lake, 2014

2 A comprehensive view…

3 Categories for activity…

4 Amassing a bigger army. View from the front lines…

5 Potential… Republicans

6 A stronger democracy is an all-American cause. To do so we need to show that…

7 1)Intensifying interest of traditional allies 2) Emerging potential new allies About those allied forces…

8 Potential… Republicans

9 Campaign contributors Which two factors have the most influence on how members of Congress vote? Voted Democrat Voted Republican Special interests and lobbyists Views of their constituents Their own conscience Serious Not serious Not serious 95% 5% How serious a problem is the general influence of money in politics? The Opportunity 46 45

10 Republicans say… 86% say it’s very important to eliminate corruption in politics (as much as any other voter) more than half say we need major reforms to the way we finance campaigns 3-in-4 say SCOTUS got Citizens United wrong Lake Research Partners, December 2013 Global Strategy Group, December 2013 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, April 2014

11 Envisioning a Conservative Lighthouse Conservatives understand money is distorting public policy GOP is in danger if voters continue to view it as a party of the wealthy Even with a largely unrestrained campaign finance system, GOP does not have an advantage in the money game Current system risks undermining faith in our democracy Not much intellectual backup of the Roberts-court “speech” argument

12 “Democracy is in trouble…” “Republicans spending the same amount in the same way are seen as having suspicious motives, a desire to cut out small people and grabbers for power.” “I do think the money and ‘inside game’ of D.C. is the underbelly of democratic government…it has the entire democracy in trouble. ” “The Party needs to change.” - Former Bush Administration official – Republican operative – Republican advisor “It would be a great wedge issue that would begin to bring credibility and trust back to the party.” “I think it would be a worthwhile exercise and beneficial for the party. ” “[Could] make the party more relevant to average voters, immigrants, people of color and young people” – Former top Bush Administration official – Former campaign manager -Political strategist Policy Pro-transparency and disclosure Support for strengthening parties rather than super PACs Support for addressing money/ lobbying connection Disagreement on how to encourage small donors Varying levels of agreement on other potential policies

13 Anti-cronyism “American capitalism… grew in a unique incubator that provided it with a distinct flavor of competitiveness, a meritocratic nature that fostered trust in markets and a faith in mobility. Lately, however, that trust has been eroded by a betrayal of our pro-business elites, whose lobbying has come to dictate the market rather than be subject to it, and this betrayal has taken place with the complicity of our intellectual class.”

14 Anti-cronyism “[I have] some quarrels with Piketty. But, actually, I, myself, tell my fellow conservatives, don't be afraid of this. Let's have a debate about what policies are better for the middle class. I think the Republican Party has become not critical enough of crony capitalism.” -Bill Kristol, The Weekly Standard

15 Potential… Business people

16 Business leaders say… 85% agree that our campaign finance system is broken 87% agree that our system needs either major reforms or a COMPLETE OVERHAUL 71% believe that major contributors have too much influence 75% say that current campaign finance system is pay-to-play 72% say money in politics distorts the market economy Committee for Economic Development

17 “The critical decisions are taken in the political arena, and that’s why the most important reform is stronger protections of our democracy against the disproportionate influence of money in politics.” The middle-class economic argument

18 The American competitiveness argument… “Corporate leaders have relentlessly pushed for loopholes and subsidies that serve narrow self-interest. Part of the business agenda for U.S. competitiveness is to stop taking actions that benefit one’s own firm but, collectively, weaken America’s business environment.”

19 Business leaders on solutions 19 90% 80% 52% 48% 34% 22% Disclosing all individual, corporate, labor contributions to political committees or other organizations that spend money in election campaigns Reducing influence of individual donors by limiting total amount an individual may contribute to all candidates, political action committees, and party committees Encouraging individual contributions, especially small contributions, by giving them tax- exempt status Eliminating need for candidates to raise money by having full public financing of political campaigns Encouraging citizens to participate in elections by matching their small contributions up to $200 with public funds Removing all restrictions on contributions to candidates, PACs, Super PACs, and political parties while also requiring full disclosure of all contributions

20 The emerging time-and-talent drain argument “The volume of money raised is so high that the job has changed from public service to begging for dollars.”

21 Potential… Independents

22 The Independent Voter 78% said it was important for candidates to come up with a plan to limit money and Super PACs more than 50% agree that McCutcheon will lead to more corruption in politics 4-in-5 say SCOTUS got Citizens United wrong most believe the wealthy have a better chance to influence the election process – 77% CBS News, May 2014 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, April 2014 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, October 2012 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, April 2014

23 Tell better stories. To recruit more allies and $, we must (in part)…

24 Make it personal… “The price we all pay.” But also be aspirational… “Liberate American ingenuity to solve problems.”

25 Price we all pay – “framework for the movement” slide

26 The price we all pay…

27 To recruit more people and $, we must… Make democracy part of the canon of philanthropy …

28 Philanthropy’s Blind Spot for Democracy Of the $300 billion per year in charitable giving in the U.S., only $45 million (.00015%) is spent reducing the influence of money over politics and policymaking. *Source: Giving USA Despite significant investments in other causes, progress is blocked.


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