A guest piece from Jan Bauer, Iowa DNC Member and former 22-year Story County Democratic Chair
Election cycle after cycle, Democrats fight the same battles with few results to show.
Since I first became active in politics in the 1980s, many of the most progressive victories Democrats have achieved in Washington, D.C. – the Assault Weapons Ban, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Affordable Care Act and more – have been diluted or eliminated altogether by Washington lawmakers focused on their next re-election campaign.
We have to ask ourselves, with the majority of Americans in support of Democratic priorities, why is it we cannot make lasting progress that will stand the test of time?
The answer: dark money.
Since 2012, hundreds of millions of hidden “dark money” dollars have flooded our airwaves and mailboxes to buy politicians and swing elections. But the influence does not end there. Our entire political system is awash in dark money and we cannot make meaningful, lasting progress until we focus on fixing our broken system.
Earlier this year, PBS aired a Frontline documentary, Dark Money. While watching, I noticed that one of the film’s experts on campaign finance reform was a familiar face: Montana Governor Steve Bullock. I first met Governor Bullock in 2018 during his trips to Iowa to support Democratic candidates.
What stood out in the documentary is that Governor Bullock has a solution to the seemingly unsolvable problem of dark money – and has already begun the hard work of getting the job done.
Few in this presidential field even mention dark money and its dangers, let alone provide solutions. And only one can claim they got it done in a state that Trump carried by 20% in 2016 — that’s Governor Bullock
With a nearly two-thirds Republican legislature, Governor Bullock passed some of the strongest campaign finance reforms in the country. In landmark legislation, he banned the use of foreign money in elections, passed new disclosure laws and is currently suing the Trump Administration to close a dark money loophole that allows super PACs to hide the mega-donors from public oversight.
So when Governor Bullock campaigns across the country talking about his plan to beat Big Money for good, I know he will make it happen. Once we overcome special interest power, we can make lasting progress on healthcare, climate change, education, gun violence, and so much more.
There is a long way to go until Iowans head to the caucuses February 3. During that time, I am proud to be working every day to build support for the candidate who walks the walk when it comes to fixing our broken political system.
Governor Steve Bullock not only has a plan to shatter the influence of dark money, but is the only candidate who has proven capable of getting the job done. Governor Bullock has the principles and moral character to stand up against the undue influence of special interests.
Having been in the race for just two months, he’s already been to Iowa 7 times and has visited with communities in every region of our state. I hope you will take the time to meet Governor Bullock, and come to know him as the man and leader I am proud to endorse for President.
by Jan Bauer