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How will we repair our democracy after Trump? H.R. 1 offers a clue.

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

Columnist March 6 at 7:14 PM

" A central challenge of the Trump era is how to deal urgently with the president’s transgressions while also taking steps to prevent politicians from abusing power in the future.

Equally important is restoring faith in our republican democracy as a genuinely representative system open to broad participation and protected from the outsize influence of the financially privileged.

President Trump is doing far more to pollute the political “swamp” he loves to invoke than draining it. But this doesn’t mean that citizens worried about the swampiness of our politics are wrong.

So here’s a challenge to citizens and the media alike: Pay attention this week to the House debate over H.R. 1, perhaps the most comprehensive political-reform proposal ever considered by our elected representatives."




" What commends H.R. 1 is its comprehensiveness. It brings together traditional reformers (with strong incentives encouraging candidates to rely on small rather than large contributions, and tougher disclosure requirements of who is paying for what ads) and civil rights advocates (with provisions for automatic voter registration, expanded early voting, a ban on unjustified voter purges and re-enfranchisement of those who have served felony sentences). It also lays the groundwork for renewing the Voting Rights Act’s effectiveness. "




" Fred Wertheimer, the veteran political activist who helped develop H.R. 1, offered as clear an answer as I have heard about the genuine urgency of fixing our democracy.

“We have a campaign finance system we haven’t seen since the Gilded Age,” he said. “We have efforts at voter suppression we haven’t seen since the days of segregation. We have gerrymandering at a level we have never seen before. And we have a president who raises financial abuse and corruption issues we haven’t seen in generations.”

Full column at ""

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