Citizens of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District have reason to celebrate. Rep. Abigail Spanberger recently announced her sponsorship of a resolution to curtail big money in our political system with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Amending the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling will strengthen our democracy dramatically. Federal and state legislatures will regain reasonable power to combat corruption, restore ethics and put accountability back into our political process.

America’s medical system exemplifies campaign finance corruption. We are more vulnerable to illness, despite paying about double the healthcare costs charged to citizens of other wealthy countries. Unlimited political spending allows special interests to wield overwhelming influence over America’s healthcare laws.

In 2020, pharmaceutical companies, physicians and health professionals were among the largest sources of federal campaign contributions. They collectively funneled nearly $700 million to federal candidates, outside money groups and parties. From rising drug prices to surprise billing to the opioid crisis, healthcare lobbyists influence policies for the benefit of profits while Americans’ health declines. Meanwhile, drug and insurance prices continue to spiral out of control.

Spanberger’s support for this amendment aligns with the views of Virginians. A 2021 Wason Center poll showed large, bipartisan majorities of Virginians favoring campaign finance transparency, donation limits and ethics laws. Regaining voter power over our election financing can reinstate a government truly for and by the people.

– JoAnn Kennedy Flanagan, Fairfax

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