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Bernie Sanders releases major campaign finance plan as he recuperates

The Vermont senator said that as president he'd enact mandatory public financing laws for all federal elections and ban corporate donations for inaugural events.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is recovering at home from a heart attack that temporarily sidelined his presidential run, is pitching a campaign finance plan that would dramatically ban corporate donations for presidential inaugurations, nominating conventions and the Democratic National Committee.
He noted that 17 companies – among them Bank of America, Comcast and Facebook that each donated more than $1 million – provided three-quarters of the funding for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
“Their lobbyists were everywhere and filled the VIP suites,” the Democratic presidential candidate wrote in his plan released Monday. “This type of corporate sponsorship is a corrupting influence and must end if politicians are going to represent the American people.”
The Vermont lawmaker said he would prohibit the DNC from accepting money from corporations and lobbyists, institute a lifetime lobbying ban on national party chairs and co-chairs and replace the Federal Election Commission with a reconstituted law enforcement agency to regulate campaign finance.
He would also seek to pass a constitutional amendment that declares campaign contributions aren’t speech, pass legislation that would end super PACs and create a public funding system for elections.

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By targeting big-dollar donations, Sanders is burnishing his credentials as a grass-roots campaigner, but he would also be kneecapping the fundraising strategies of almost all of his fellow Democratic hopefuls, as well as President Trump and the Republicans.
Sanders’ campaign announced that it had raised $25.3 million during the last three months from small-donors – the largest take of the Democratic candidates in any quarter.
The funds came from 1.4 million contributors with an average donation of $18.07.
Sanders, 78, suffered a heart attack last week and had surgery to place two stents in a blocked artery.
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He is expected to take part in the next Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15.

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