Letters to the Editor, Opinion

To The Editor: Empowering Small Donors through Campaign Finance Reform

To The Editor:

We would like to think that the strength of our voice is not dependent on the size of our wallets. Today, however, money speaks louder than votes.

For instance, a recent Politico investigation found that the 67 biggest donors to the current election have given more than the 508,000 small donors combined. Without contribution limits, corporations and the super wealthy can spend amounts that ordinary Americans simply cannot afford. This grossly disproportionate spending results in candidates who are more accountable to the few that funded their campaigns rather than the many that voted them into office.

Illinois voters understand the problem of big money in our elections, and we want solutions. A small donor empowerment program can restore balance by providing matching funds to candidates that choose to fund their campaigns entirely through small donations.

By allowing candidates to remain competitive, they can spend time listening to their constituents instead of chasing big checks.

We can set up a system, similar to one in New York City, right here in Cook County to level the playing field and ensure everyone’s voice is heard in our democracy. Let’s return the vote from the wallet to the ballot.

Heather Dube
Illinois Public Interest Research Group
Chicago, IL