Beyond Corruption: New Approaches to Money in Politics

A discussion with Rep. John Sarbanes and a New Paper
New America

As we move past the fifth anniversary of Citizens United, can we begin to think fresh about the influence of money in politics and how to strengthen the voice of ordinary citizens in democracy? Please join New America and the Brennan Center for Justice on February 5 for a discussion of a new framework for revitalizing American democracy based on the idea of political opportunity, with a keynote by Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland, lead sponsor of the Government By the People Act, followed by a panel discussion including Ann M. Ravel, Chair of the Federal Election Commission.

In a paper to be released at the conference, “Political Opportunity: A New Framework for Democratic Reform,” Mark Schmitt, director of the Political Reform Program at New America, proposes to move beyond the narrow goal of reducing political corruption and instead set the objective of expanding the opportunity for people to run for office, for citizens to participate as voters, donors and advocates, and for new ideas to be heard. As Schmitt will show, this approach can inspire reforms that are constitutionally sound, that respect and strengthen freedom of expression, and can be shown to be effective.

Following Rep. Sarbanes’ keynote, Schmitt, Chair Ravel, and Lawrence Norden, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, will lead an open discussion of the idea of political opportunity and the future of American democracy.

Follow the discussion online using #BeyondCorruption and following @NewAmerica.


Representative John Sarbanes
U.S. House of Representatives, MD-3

Ann M. Ravel
Chair, Federal Elections Commission

Lawrence Norden
Deputy Director, Democracy Program, The Brennan Center

Mark Schmitt
Director, Political Reform Program, New America