Election 2018 | Press Releases

Dean Phillips Outlines Robust Plan to Unrig the System

Oct 18, 2017

In his first major policy speech, the candidate for MN-03 reveals plan to clean up campaign finance system
Phillips, who pledged to reject money from PACs, federal lobbyists, and special interest groups, earned the endorsement of ECU in September


In his first major policy speech, End Citizens United (ECU) endorsed candidate Dean Phillips, from Minnesota’s 3rd district, outlined a robust plan to unrig the system in Washington by ending the corrupting influence of Big Money in politics. Phillips is putting the issue of money in politics at the center of his campaign and has pledged to reject all PAC money.

“Dean Phillips is demonstrating a clear commitment to fighting the rigged system in Washington by making campaign finance reform a key part of his platform,” said Tiffany Muller, president of ECU. “While Dean has laid out a comprehensive plan to clean up our elections and give a voice to Minnesotans, his opponent, Congressman Erik Paulsen, continues to pander to his Big Money backers. The difference between these candidates is night and day, and we look forward to working with Dean to carry out these reforms.”

This week we saw a vivid example of how unchecked money in politics directly harms the American people. A Washington Post/60 Minutes investigation exposed the drug industry’s efforts to lobby Congress and undermine the DEA’s ability to fight back against opioid abuse. It led to a gutting of regulations to protect corporate interests while putting American lives at risk. Dean Phillips’s plan to unrig the system would tackle the root cause of this problem:


  • Increase Transparency

    • DISCLOSE Act (HR 1134)

    • Klobuchar/Kilmer Proposal on Digital Ads

  • Level the Playing Field

    • Lower Contribution Limits / Spending

    • Federal Version of Minnesota’s PCR Program

  • Reduce Outside Influence

    • Keep Foreign Money Out of Elections (HR 1615)

    • End Single Candidate Super PACs

  • (ACTUALLY) Drain the Swamp 

    • Close Revolving Door Loopholes

    • Tighten Lobbying Disclosure Requirements

  • Encourage Participation

    • National Holiday for Voting

    • Redistricting Reform (HR 1102)

While Dean Phillips has pledged to not accept a dime of PAC money, his opponent, Congressman Erik Paulsen has taken nearly $6.1 million from corporate PACs over the course of his career in Congress and worked to increase the role of Big Money in politics. Paulsen has repeatedly voted against the DISCLOSE Act, which seeks to increase transparency in election spending. He voted to block a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and supports a bill backed by the mega-donor Koch brothers to keep Minnesota voters in the dark about who’s spending to influence elections.

Watch Phillips’ full speech on reforming the system here.

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ECU is an entirely grassroots-funded organization dedicated to electing members of Congress, like Dean Phillips, who will fight to overturn Citizens United and pass meaningful campaign finance reform. End Citizens United will connect Phillips’s campaign with its 5,700 members in Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district and activate its 380,000 small-dollar national donors to help ensure he has the resources to win. This cycle, ECU has raised almost $2 million in small-dollar, grassroots donations for its endorsed candidates.