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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

In the Citizens United era, when billionaires and corporations can pour unlimited sums of money into elections to advance their own narrow interests, it is more difficult than ever for average voters to make their voices heard and make a difference in elections.

That’s why Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and David Price (D-NC) have introduced the Empowering Citizens Act, which would enact a public small donor matching program in American elections.

The Act, which builds on a proposal from Democracy 21 and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, would create a voluntary 5-to-1 public matching program on small contributions of up to $250. It would also cut contribution limits for participating candidates in half, institute a cap on public funds available per race, and strengthen the ineffective rules preventing Super PACs and candidates from coordinating with each other.

Brennan Center for Justice Senior Counsel Adam Skaggs and Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer further explain the program in this video:

Although the Empowering Citizens Act would not prevent party committees or independent groups like Super PACs from spending in elections, it would greatly enhance the public’s role in electing its own government.

For more information on small donor matching programs, see the Brennan Center and Democracy 21’s proposal.

Donald Trump in El Paso

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

The city of El Paso, Texas, announced on Tuesday that it had hired a law firm to collect on $569,204 it is still owed by Donald Trump's presidential campaign for costs associated with a February 2019 rally.

"A lot of us have been concerned about this outstanding invoice, about the amount of money that is owed to us by the Trump campaign," said local Rep. Peter Svarzbein said during a city council meeting.

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