Melanie Stansbury questionnaire answers

1) Do you support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overrule the Supreme Court’s decisions in Buckley v. Valeo (1976), Citizens United v. FEC (2010), McCutcheon v. FEC (2014) and other cases that have taken away the authority of government to effectively regulate campaign finance in order to limit the outsized effect of wealthy individuals, corporations and special interest groups in our elections?

The Supreme Court’s decisions in cases such as Citizens United v. FEC have drastically limited the government’s ability to reform and regulate campaign finance, and we must pass legislation to regulate campaign finance and reduce the influence of corporations, special interests, and big money. In Congress, I will support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overrule the Supreme Court’s decisions in Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United v. FEC, McCutcheon v. FEC, and other cases that have taken away the authority of the government to effectively regulate campaign finance. We must reduce the influence of wealthy individuals, corporations, and special interest groups in our elections.

2) Do you support public financing for federal, state and local elections?

I know it is critical that we make every effort to get the influence of big money out of politics to ensure that the people’s voices come first. Public financing helps to increase campaign finance transparency, incentivize small-dollar donations, and help to curb corruption. In Congress, I will support public financing for federal, state, and local elections.

3) Would you support legislation requiring media to provide free airtime in the public interest to vetted candidates, with the goal of reducing the amount of money required to run a campaign?

I understand that television airtime is one of the largest expenses for most political campaigns. As we work to reform our campaign finance system to reduce the influence of big money and corporate interests, media airtime is one area in which we can make critical changes to promote small dollar donations and reduce the amount of money required to run a campaign. I would support legislation requiring media to provide free and equal airtime in the public interest to vetted candidates.

4) Would you support lobbying reforms at the federal, state and local levels so that all of us are fairly represented, and the “revolving door” between government and wealthy organizations or individuals is eliminated?

We must implement anti-corruption and lobbying reform legislation to prevent politicians from prioritizing the special interests of big money over the voices and concerns of their constituents. I support lobbying reforms at the federal, state, and local levels so that all of us are fairly represented, and the “revolving door” between government and wealthy organizations or individuals is eliminated.

5) Would you support the elimination of the rigging (gerrymandering) of congressional and state representative districts so that every citizen is fairly and equally represented in Congress and our state legislatures?

We need fair districts across the state and the country. In the state legislature, I voted for the independent redistricting commission for New Mexico. In Congress, I will continue to advocate for the creation of independent redistricting committees.

6) Would you support protecting the integrity of the election process and the right and ability of every citizen to vote in order to ensure that every citizen’s vote counts equally?

Our democracy works best when every vote and voice counts. For many years, attempts to limit voting rights have been rampant, and we cannot allow this to continue. In Congress, I will support legislation including the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment Act to protect the integrity of the election process and the right and ability of every citizen to vote in order to ensure that every citizen’s vote counts equally.

7) Would you support enacting anti-corruption, ethics and conflict of interest laws that apply to federal, state and local executive officials, legislators and judges?

Campaign finance and anti-corruption legislation is foundational to good government and rebuilding our democracy. It is essential that we continue to pass and support legislation which will take big money and corporate interests out of politics, and put the power back in the hands of the people. In the New Mexico legislature this session, I introduced legislation to create a legislative process review commission, which would help promote legislative transparency and evaluate opportunities to advance legislative pay, staffing, and processes. I support enacting anti-corruption, ethics and conflict of interest laws that apply to federal, state, and local executive officials, legislators and judges, and in Congress, I will support legislation to end Citizens United, reform campaign finance, strengthen public financing of campaigns, and curb corruption. We cannot continue to allow big money to influence politics.

8) Do you support or oppose the following legislation and why:

a) H.R. 1/ S.1, the For the People Act;

Right now, we need action on H.R. 1/S.1 – the For the People Act. I strongly support this transformative legislation that will work to protect and expand voting rights, help to hold our government accountable, strengthen ethics laws, and reduce the influence of corporate interests in politics.

b) the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act;

We must stand strong against attempts to reduce or undermine voting rights. In Congress, I will support the John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment Act. I believe that all voices must count, and we must pass this legislation which will protect and expand voting rights.

c) H.R. 51, the D.C. Statehood Act; and

For far too long, residents of Washington D.C. have been denied representation – we must pass legislation to ensure equal rights and representation for everyone residing in the United States. In Congress, I will support H.R. 51, the D.C. Statehood Act to ensure that residents of Washington D.C. can fully participate in our democracy and gain the representation they deserve.

d) legislation to reform or repeal the Senate filibuster?

The filibuster is often used to block major legislation that moves our country forward on equity issues, like the DREAM Act, the Affordable Care Act, and several proposals for sensible gun safety that overwhelmingly benefit communities of color. I support legislation to repeal the Senate filibuster – we must do away with the filibuster to finally address structural racism and equity issues.