MILWAUKEE – U.S. Senate Candidate Steven Olikara released his bold agenda to get Members of Congress to do their job, empower working people in politics, and root out corruption. His proposal includes a ban on Members from fundraising while Congress is in session and a plan to achieve Final Five Voting (open primaries and ranked choice general elections), making him the first U.S. Senate candidate in Wisconsin history to embrace these reforms.
“We have to fix the incentives for elected officials,” shared Olikara. Right now, politicians in Washington demonize each other and neglect their job of legislating because it is highly profitable to do so. Many spend a majority of their time fundraising as opposed to legislating, and special interest groups sponsor Members’ seats on influential Congressional committees. “It’s legalized bribery, and the vast majority of Wisconsinites lose out,” says Olikara.
“I am challenging other candidates for the U.S. Senate to join me in committing not to fundraise while on the taxpayer’s dime in current and future offices,” said Olikara. “This behavior doesn’t pass the common sense test for Wisconsinites. No Wisconsinite can go to their boss and ask them to continue paying their salary while working another job.
Olikara looks to rebuild trust between voters and the legislators who represent them. He proposes: a ban on lobbyists funding Members of Congress they’re lobbying, a new federal clean elections program, a cap on personal contributions to one’s own campaign, and more.
It is hypocritical for party leaders, both Democrats and Republicans, to say they support the working class yet don’t enable working class people to sit at the decision making table,” Olikara explained. His proposals would enable more Wisconsinites to run for office and center working class issues in legislation. Olikara continued, “we won’t address the fundamental power imbalance between the elites and working class Wisconsinites without enacting bold, innovative reforms.
Olikara is elevating emerging movements for political reform like Voters First Wisconsin, Veterans for Political Innovation, and Fair Maps Wisconsin. Olikara highlights his engagement with these organizations, “I didn’t invent this message for the sake of running for office – I’ve been reforming politics for the past decade. It’s why I founded the Millennial Action Project and served on the Board of Issue One.” Steven has led bipartisan legislation on each topic in this proposal and knows what it takes to pass them into law – he has the most federal legislative experience in this race.