O’Malley’s plan also takes aim at an arrangement between Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton and a super PAC supporting her. O’Malley proposes abolishing an exemption in the law that the group, Correct the Record, has said allows it to coordinate directly with Clinton’s campaign -- something that would normally run afoul of the rules.
"This week marks the end of another campaign fundraising quarter,” O’Malley said Thursday in a statement accompanying the release of his plan. “I’m not naive. Campaign resources are important. But the staggering figures required to run for the highest office in the land aren’t as much a sign of muscle as they are an indication just how broken our democracy is.”
Unlike Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), O’Malley has declined to disclose how much he had raised in the preceding three months -- a figure expected to be a fraction of what either of his rivals did. Clinton said she had taken in $28 million, while Sanders said he raised $26 million. Reports on the fundraising quarter, which ended Wednesday at midnight, are not due to Federal Election Commission until Oct. 15.
O’Malley, who has struggled to gain to traction in the polls, also calls in his plan for establishing a constitutional right to vote and for bipartisan redistricting committees to draw congressional lines.
Like other Democrats, O’Malley is highly critical of U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, which has allowed far greater spending to influence elections. A constitutional amendment would “allow the American people to once again place reasonable limits on the money that flows into our elections,” O’Malley says.
He also voices support for reforms proposed by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) that are meant to change the way congressional elections are funded. By offering a $25 refundable tax credit to Americans who contribute to campaigns, candidates would be more responsive to voters than special interests, O’Malley reasons.
He also endorses a Sarbanes plan that would provide public matching funds in instances where citizens give $150 or less to a candidate who refuses to take money from political action committees.
O’Malley also aims to overhaul the Federal Election Commission, which he calls “dysfunctional” and “toothless.” He says he would replace a system of governance by three commissioners from both major political parties with a single independent administrator with “real enforcement authority.”