Duckworth Offers Anti-Super PAC Pledge to Opponents
In an effort to fend off the influence of so-called "Super PACs" and the corrosive effects of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, Tammy Duckworth is calling on her opponent in the Primary, Raja Krishnamoorthi, to sign a pledge to reject the involvement of Super PACs in this race. If Duckworth wins the primary, she will offer the same pledge to Congressman Joe Walsh for the general election.
Modeled on Elizabeth Warren and Senator Scott Brown's "People's Pledge" in Massachusetts, here's how it would work if Tammy's opponents join her:
If a Super PAC or other group eligible under Citizens United spends money on television, radio or mail to support or oppose a candidate in the 8th District race for Congress, the beneficiary will agree to pay 50% of the cost of airing that ad to a charity of his or her opponent's choice.
"Unlimited contributions undermine the American principle of 'one person, one vote,'" said Duckworth. "And the secretive nature of Super PACs means voters can't know who's behind an attack ad. That's not acceptable - the only money that should be spent in the 8th District is money that is fully disclosed before the election under federal election laws. Karl Rove and his secret money have no place in our elections, and I'm calling on my opponent to join me so we can keep their influence out of this race."
Duckworth has signed on to Senator Dick Durbin's petition to reverse Citizens United by "amend[ing] the Constitution so Congress and the states can enact common-sense campaign finance reforms."
"I can't - and I won't - do this alone," said Duckworth. "Like President Obama, I won't allow for two sets of rules, but if my opponents join me we can be sure that in the 8th District the voters can make their choices in an open and transparent process."
Recent filings have shown the extraordinary influence of a few wealthy individuals. A Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney's campaign for President raised $30 million from less than 200 contributors, and a single family has given over $10 million to a Super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich. Locally, a Chicago-based Super PAC has aired ads against Bill Foster, a Democrat running in the 11th District to replace Rep Judy Biggert.