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Election Reform Amendment

Key to real election reform is ending the Citizens United ruling, banning outside money, removing corporations’ right as people, and ending gerrymandering. Thus central to my proposed 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is a ban on candidates accepting donations from any source not eligible to vote for them. This would outlaw all political donations from PACs, corporations, special interests, national parties and most super-rich individuals.

This should eliminate perhaps 80% of all campaign donations and make local elections truly local again. This would also encourage more citizens of strong character to run who prefer to focus more on public service than fundraising.


However, some loopholes will still need closing to protect the integrity of our elections, and we should likewise reform several other aspects of our elections. Here are the specifics of my Election Reform Amendment:

  1. Candidates may accept campaign donations and in-kind contributions only from individuals eligible to vote for them.  

  2. Overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling by declaring:

    • Corporations are not people, in any respect or context.

    • Political donations are not free speech and can be regulated.

    • An effective end to “dark” money by prohibiting major broadcast, cable, print, digital and social media outlets from running paid political ads submitted by any entity that lacks a transparent donor list or has foreign ties.

    • A ban on candidate-specific outside advertisements within 30 days of the start of balloting. (“Outside” is defined as any person or entity that is not the campaign of a registered candidate in that race.)

  3. No primary can be scheduled more than six months before the general election.

  4. Major broadcast, cable, print, digital and social media outlets may not run any paid ads supporting or opposing Supreme Court nominations. 

  5. Gerrymandering is prohibited by requiring Congressional districts to resemble, as much as possible, simple rectangles and to fairly represent the local political and ethnic diversity. District boundaries should be straight and feature no more than 10 corners. (See below.) A curved boundary may substitute if formed by a coastline, river, lake or a historically established municipal, county or state line. 

However, introducing the Election Reform Amendment is just one of several steps needed to achieve ratification. Jeff Burdick has a plan for building the support in Congress to get the Amendment passed by two-thirds of both houses and then ratified by the states.

It will require a lot of focused hard work. But because Jeff will not spend 70 percent of his time fund-raising like other Congressmen², he will have the time to lead this drive.

² According to former Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) & former U.S. Rep. David Jolly (R-FL).

Anti-Gerrymandering Rule: What do 10 corners look like?​