Statement by CLC President Trevor Potter on the 2016 Election Results


Today, it’s important to remember that elections come and go, but CLC’s mission remains constant: We will continue to fight to improve our democracy and for the fundamental right of all Americans to participate in the political process. We will continue to vigorously work for changes in money in politics practices, to defend voting rights and push to end the excessive partisan gerrymandering that undermines our democracy.

On Tuesday night, it was made clear that Americans support fundamental change in Washington, specifically focusing on issues of corruption and special interest power.

Donald Trump ran a campaign tapping into the deep-rooted sentiment of Americans who are unhappy with the status quo. Among his frequent targets were our broken political and campaign finance system. He spoke of "draining the Washington swamp" and proposed specific revolving door, ethics and lobbying reforms. He attacked super PACs and the power of secret money.

We know that 80 percent of voters of both parties believe that the federal government is out of touch with average citizens. This is the direct result of current money in politics practices. We saw this resonate loud and clear not only with the election of Washington-outsider Trump, but also through the passage of many strong pro-democracy measures on state and local ballots nationwide.

Tuesday’s results are proof that Americans have a hunger to fix our broken campaign finance system. As we to look toward the new administration, the Campaign Legal Center will hold President-elect Trump accountable to his campaign’s promise for democracy reform. And we will continue to work hard at the state and local level to pass more reforms that renew and expand our democracy.

Our work is needed now more than ever. 


State and Local Wins for Democracy in the 2016 Election 

-A matching funds public financing program in Berkeley, California

-A lobbyist gift ban and contribution restriction in San Francisco

-A direction to County Council to establish a matching funds program in Howard County, Maryland

-A reinstatement of contribution limits in Missouri

-An overhaul of South Dakota’s campaign finance laws including a voucher system, increased disclosure, lobbying restrictions and the creation of a campaign finance enforcement agency in South Dakota

-A resolution to overturn Citizens United in Washington State and California.

-New limits on contributions to candidates and on independent expenditures in Multnomah County, Oregon, a state that doesn’t currently have candidate limits