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GRAFTON, Wis. – Today Dan Kohl and a coalition of more than 100 House challengers are calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to make a government and election reform bill the first item on the agenda for the next Congress in 2019. In a letter to the House of Representatives, the 107 candidates write:

Restoring faith in our elections and in the integrity of our elected officials should be a top priority that all members of Congress can agree upon. Without these reforms we will be unable to truly regain the public’s trust or tackle the challenges of our day, like the costs of health care and prescription drugs, the opioid epidemic, or building an economy that is strong for working families.

For those reasons, these reforms must be sweeping, and they must be bold. They must be the very first item Congress addresses. We must not yield on this demand, the American public is counting on us.

Key elements of the bill would include: reforming the role of money in politics to ensure more transparency and accountability in elections, limiting the undue influence of mega donors and special interests, and incentivizing small dollar donors, as well as ethics reform, redistricting reform, and voting rights protection.

The letter was coordinated in part by End Citizens United, a grassroots campaign finance reform group. The group has endorsed Kohl.

“The American people know that Washington isn’t working for them. They want candidates who will unrig the system and put the people ahead of mega donors and special interests,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller. “Dan Kohl and the rest of the candidates on this letter are serious about reform. They’re sending a strong message to Washington, that when they’re elected, things will be different. End Citizens United is proud to have endorsed Dan, and we look forward to working with him to help pass meaningful reforms that clear the way for Congress to do the people’s business.” 

“In order to tackle important issues like making quality health care quality affordable, we need to be able to hold our politicians accountable and make sure every American is fairly represented by their government,” said Kohl. “Reforming our campaign finance system will force our representatives to be more responsive to the American people. That’s why I’m not taking a single dime of corporate PAC money during my campaign. When I’m elected I’ll be beholden only to the people of Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District, not special interests or corporate donors.”

The letter to Congress comes amid a series of high-profile scandals that are shining light on the culture of corruption in Washington and exacerbating voter cynicism at a time when faith in government is already at a historic low. A bipartisan poll conducted by the George W. Bush Institute, the University of Pennsylvania’s Biden Center and Freedom House shows that money in politics is one of the top reasons people believe the government does not represent them.

You can read the full text of the letter here.

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