Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer announced his intention to run for the GOP nomination for president of the United States last month with the intention of changing this campaign finance system. Practicing what he preaches, he is refusing to accept donations from Political Action Committees (PACs) or donations larger than $100 per person.
During a speech at the National Press Club today that ThinkProgress attended, Roemer called on all of his fellow candidates in the presidential race to refuse donations from PACs and their new ugly cousin, Super PACs, which corporations have notoriously used to funnel millions of dollars to candidates like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R).
Explaining that he defeated a gubernatorial candidate in Louisiana that spent 10 times the amount he did, he explained that it’s possible to win by rejecting corrupting money. “No more Wall Street fundraisers! They’d be out with the folks, they might hear something,” he proclaimed:
ROEMER: I remember running against Edwin Edwards and in Louisiana. A corrupt governor. Just got out jails. He’d never been beaten. [...] He spent 15 million dollars, I spent 1.6. We whipped him. There were other good people running to. It can be done. [...] I challenge the Mitt Romneys of the world. And the Rick Perrys. And the Michelle Bachmanns. And the Ron Pauls. And the John Huntsmans. And anybody else who’s there. Herman Cain, I don’t want to leave anybody out. Gary Johnson. Whomever. I challenge them to accept this pledge. No PAC money. No Super PACs formed. Keep your limit at $2,500. I can live with that. [...] No more Wall Street fundraisers! They’d be out with the folks, they might hear something.
During his speech, Roemer also called for totally outlawing Super PACs and for real-time campaign disclosure for all federal campaigns. As if to punctuate Roemer’s point, it was recently reported that a single Super PAC set up to support Romney raised a whopping $12.2 million in the first half of the year, much of which is very difficult to trace.