Press Releases

Sara Gideon’s First Policy Proposal is Anti-Corruption Reforms

Jan 15, 2020

Gideon’s seven point plan would root out corruption in both parties and make Washington more accountable to Mainers

In her first major policy announcement, Sara Gideon unveiled a bold and comprehensive agenda to rein in the influence of special interests and crack down on corruption in Washington. As part of her reform agenda, Gideon is rejecting corporate PAC money. The plan was announced ten years after the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, which unleashed a flood of corporate and special interest money in elections.

“Sara Gideon is leading by example,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller. “She knows that progress on the issues important to Mainers is hindered by the culture of corruption in Washington and has introduced concrete steps to unrig the system. Her reform plan will root out the influence of big money special interests and bring much-need transparency and accountability to Congress. It’s the cure to the rigged system that Senator Collins helped create.”

Read Gideon’s reform agenda here and below:

OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED: The Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United opened the door to a flood of unlimited spending by corporations and expanded the influence of dark money. Gideon will support legislation, like the For The People Act passed last year in the House, to end the influence of unlimited special interest money in our elections and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

CRACK DOWN ON SECRET SPENDING IN ELECTIONS: The DISCLOSE Act would require dark money groups that spend money to influence elections to disclose their large donors, increasing transparency and accountability. Gideon will work to pass the DISCLOSE Act and the Real Time Transparency Act in the Senate.

NO BUDGET, NO PAY: Congress should be held accountable for doing its job the same way Mainers are across the state. If a waitress, logger, lobsterman or teacher didn’t do their job, they wouldn’t be paid. The same should be true for members of Congress and accomplishing one of their most important objectives – authorizing a federal budget. Gideon will support “No Budget, No Pay” legislation so members of Congress aren’t compensated if they fail to do the most basic part of their job.

NO CORPORATE PAC MONEY: Gideon is committed to rejecting all corporate PAC money in her campaign and as a U.S. Senator so that Mainers never have to doubt whose interests she’s representing in the Senate.

BAN FORMER REPRESENTATIVES FROM BECOMING LOBBYISTS: Far too many former members of Congress treat the Capitol Building as a stop on their way to K Street to work as a lobbyist, earning inappropriate access and special privileges at their final destination. Gideon will support a lifetime ban – not just for one or two years – on former members of Congress becoming lobbyists.

REFUSE ALL GIFTS & MEALS FROM LOBBYISTS: Members of Congress and staff frequently take advantage of a loophole to sidestep ethics rules to attend receptions hosted by lobbyists intended to sway elected representatives. Evading ethics rules is wrong, and in the Senate, Sara will refuse any gifts or food from lobbyists, no matter how small.

REFUSE SPECIAL INTEREST TRAVEL: Many lobbyists and special interest groups take advantage of loopholes to travel with and pay for trips for members of Congress, some without any disclosure at all of who paid for the trip. This represents exactly what’s wrong with Washington. In the Senate, Gideon will refuse any trips paid for by special interests.

Senator Collins has worked to maintain the undue influence of corporations and unlimited, undisclosed money in politics. In 2014, Collins voted to block a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United. Collins has also repeatedly voted against anti-corruption and transparency bills, like the DISCLOSE Act, which would require dark money groups to disclose their donors and political spending when engaged in political activity. Collins refuses to co-sponsor the 2019 For the People Act (S. 949), the most comprehensive anti-corruption and reform legislation since Watergate.