The top way the top 1 percent have taken control of our political system is by taking advantage of a campaign finance system that benefits candidates, political parties, and causes who have the most money. One of the few barriers the 99 Percent have against the Big Money takeover of the electoral system is the network of public financing. One of these public financing mechanisms is the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF).
Today, the House of Representatives, at the behest of House Republicans, held a vote on ending the PECF. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) took to the floor to defend the public fund, arguing that it was one of the few obstacles left to the complete takeover of the political system by special interests Lofgren asked her colleagues whether they think that the “99 percent of Americans that don’t have lobbyists” would benefit in any way by abolishing PECF. She then went on to note that the Republican National Committee got 18 million dollars from this fund and suggested they give it back:
LOFGREN: The level of spending by corporations and special interests since the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United should give every American reason for concern. So do my Republican colleagues really believe that more corporate and special interest money in politics is going to benefit in any way the 99 percent of Americans who don’t have lobbyists? The current public financial [sic] system for the presidential elections has problems. Most notably, it has not kept pace with the cost of modern campaigns. So we should fix it instead of eliminating it. I would note that the Republican National Committee recently received 18 million dollars from this fund. If the Republicans think it’s such a bad idea, perhaps they should ask the RNC to return the money.
A few hours after Lofgren made these comments, the House voted 235-190 to kill the PECF.