Josh on: Campaign Finance Reform

2021 Joint Anti-Corruption and Ethics Reform Agenda

Delegates Joshua Cole, Dan Helmer, Sally Hudson, and Schuyler VanValkenburg believe that our government works best when power rests in the hands of the people, not corporate special interests. 

These Delegates believe that the status quo isn’t working for everyday Virginians. They are fighting for their constituents, working to lower the cost of prescription drugs, fighting for small business owners and middle-class workers, and addressing our climate crisis. Unfortunately, bold action on these issues is obstructed by huge corporations and special interest groups who spend millions of dollars in the Commonwealth to influence policy and stand in the path of progress for hardworking Virginians.

Delegates Joshua Cole, Dan Helmer, Sally Hudson, and Schuyler VanValkenburg want to reform our government and reduce the influence of dark money and sever the ties between special interest donors and Richmond, and give political power to regular Virginians to get things done.

To reform our government, they know it is important to fight corruption and enact campaign finance reform in Virginia. That is why they have come together to release a Joint Anti-Corruption and Ethics Reform Agenda for the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

They support:

  • Banning the personal use of campaign funds 
    • As lawmakers, it’s our job to uphold the highest ethical standards. That includes how and where we spend money. 
    • Virginians expect that their elected officials do work for the people, not line their pockets with campaign funds. Using that money for personal expenses undermines voters’ faith in democracy. 
    • Virginia is one of just three states that still permits personal use of campaign funds, and it’s high-time to stop.
  • Setting contribution limits for individuals and corporations
  • Elections in Virginia should be decided by voters, not donors, and our democracy works best when it is representative of the people. 
  • Virginia is one of just five states that allows unlimited contributions from corporations and one of eleven that permits uncapped giving from individuals, leaving high-dollar donors with outsized sway in our elections — and the big donations get bigger every year. Capping contributions will help end the cycle that drowns out everyday voters.
  • Without contribution limits, our democratic process is disproportionately influenced by a few individuals and corporations and not the electorate. It’s time we return the power to the place it belongs: in the hands of Virginia voters. Big corporations don’t have any place in our politics. 
  • Requiring donor and spending disclosure from corporations, ‘dark money’ groups, non-profits, and other entities who spend money to influence our elections.
    • Justice Louis Brandeis once noted that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Citizens have a right to know who is trying to influence their vote so they can make informed decisions at the ballot box. 
    • Our government works best when lawmakers are focused on serving the people, not dark money groups and special interests. 
    • If we’re going to address the real problems we face around access to healthcare and gun violence, we must get dark money out of our politics and require groups who spend money to influence elections disclose where their money came from and how they’re spending it.