Massachusetts AG calls for more campaign finance reform

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – About 10 years ago, the Citizens United ruling changed how political campaigns were funded, and now the attorney general is working to change it once again.

The Citizens United ruling allowed organizations and labor unions to form what is known as ‘political action committees’ or PAC’s. Through these PACs, large sums of money can be given to political campaigns, an issue that the Attorney General Maura Healey has rallied against for years.

“This is about democracy and in Massachusetts we believe that democracy is about people, not money,” AG Healey said.

A commission that was created by a ballot question in 2018 to oversee campaign spending has released its first report showing just how much money each candidate spent during their election process.

The report shows that since the citizens united ruling more than $700 million has been spent in Massachusetts on elections and ballot initiatives.

“Our report shows a meteoric rise in campaign spending nationally and in our state over the past decade and demonstrates that more and more money is coming from a tiny shrinking and unrepresentative sliver of the electorate,” Costas Panagopoulos said.

A constitutional amendment that the group has filed would place what they call reasonable limits on the amount of money that corporations can spend on political campaigns.

Committee members said they are hoping to accomplish their campaign finance reform goals by 2026 at the latest.

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