Please go to our new website at: https://www.bigmoneyoutva.org/
UPDATED Nov 2022: Updated Citizens Report on the Need for Campaign Finance Reform in Virginia. Press Release: Click here.
We are a group of grassroots advocates in Virginia, affiliated with the nonpartisan group, American Promise, and dedicated to getting big money out politics. At the national level, our Virginia chapter of America Promise is working to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing Congress and the states to regulate election spending. This action is needed to permanently reverse the damaging effects of the 2010 Citizens United v. the FEC ruling that equated money with free speech and that unleashed a torrent of money into our country’s elections.
At the same time, under a broader “MoneyOutVA” umbrella, we are also focused on getting big money out of Virginia politics. One of only five states that has no limits on campaign contributions, the Commonwealth has earned the reputation as a “pay-to-play” state where the lobbying influence of special interests historically has held sway over our public policies more than voters’ priorities.
To achieve both the national and state goals, we are working to 1) see Virginia become the 22nd state to pass a resolution recommending a constitutional amendment that authorizes Congress and the states to regulate election spending; and 2) promote the passage of common sense campaign finance laws by the Virginia Generals Assembly that regulate campaign contributions.
WHY VIRGINIA AND WHY BIG MONEY?
In swing states, such as Virginia, where the power and influence of huge donations can determine electoral outcomes, 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. Meanwhile, money going into the 2021 Gubenatorial and House of Delegate elections reached nearly $254 million. Virginia is one of only five states that has not set legal standards for both individual and public/private sector political contributions.
Virginia’s inadequate system of transparency is reflected in two recent reports by the Coalition for Integrity.The state scored in the bottom ten of the S.W.A.M.P. Index, an analysis of laws and regulations related to transparency and accountability.
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