Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) rolled out the latest plan of her presidential campaign Monday with a proposal to weed out corruption in Washington once and for all that includes a plan to bar lobbyists from fundraising and donating to political campaigns.
Speaking to an estimated 20,000 people gathered in New York City’s Washington Square Park, Warren laid out her vision of a political revolution to distinguish herself from fellow leftist 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), touting the work of leaders in the early feminist movement sparking change that led to reforms such as the New Deal.
“As bad as things are, we have to recognize that our problems didn’t start with Donald Trump,” Warren declared to her supporters. “He made them worse, but we need to take a deep breath and recognize that a country that elects Donald Trump is already in serious trouble.”
Warren’s plan includes drastic changes to how lobbyists function, how campaigns are financed, and how politicians disclose their financial interests such as mandating the release of tax returns to run for federal office, a clear shot at President Donald Trump refusing to release his financial records.
Among her laundry list of proposals is a ban on lobbyists from fundraising and donating to political campaigns. Her plan labels the practice “legalized bribery.”
“No more campaign contributions or bundling by lobbyists contributing to a campaign at the same time you are paying to influence those same elected officials, is the definition of bribery,” Warren asserted in New York. “And we are going to put a stop to it.”
Throughout her political career, the Center for Responsive Politics shows Warren has received more than $1.1 million in PAC contributions for her campaigns. According to a CNBC analysis of reports from the Federal Election Commission, Warren also accepted at least $95,000 directly from lobbyists for her Senate runs in 2012 and in 2018. Reports from the Center for Responsive Politics shows $95,000 to be a fraction of the senator’s overall funds raised, and the 2020 White House hopeful has refused lobbyist money for her presidential campaign while remaining one of the most competitive contenders.
RealClearPolitics’ latest aggregate of polls show’s Warren in second place behind former vice president Joe Biden in a crowded field of candidates. The only two polls released following Thursday’s Democratic debate show Warren picking up momentum and creating a distance with third-place candidate Sanders.
Warren also picked up a key endorsement Monday just moments before her big speech from the Working Families Party, an openly socialist and communist-affiliated smaller party operating in 19 states that supported Sanders in 2016.