What is the problem?
Clean Elections Texas was formed at a time when campaign finance reform after Watergate had been falling apart with various court decisions and in the same year as the infamous Citizen United decision. The control of money over elections and candidates was becoming better understood and thus resisted by the electorate. We now are in the midst of a full- throated battle between the voters and those in power because of the influence of outside, “dark” funding on the choosing of and success of candidates and propositions. Candidates feel the pressure to raise larger and larger amounts of money to even consider running for office.
The focus of our efforts moved from trying to find solutions to these problems with options, such as public funding of elections, to the more basic urgency of finding candidates who could get elected and would work to change the laws. In order for this to happen, we joined the efforts to make our elections fairer and more accessible while growing the electorate through education, voter registration, and working on election laws.
We are now at a crucial time for our historic democratic form of government, as for the first time it is being threatened openly by a faction loyal to the former president. Articulating this danger, exposing the Big Lie, supporting efforts for accountability, energizing the voters, finding “end- runs” to the barriers set up to voting – all have taken on an increasing urgency. Thus, the efficiency and power of working in coalition has become a major tool for change. We have met challenges before and will this one. A large part of our job is to engage our electorate and help them channel their frustration, fear, and anger into effective action, starting with voting in any and every election at all levels and staying engaged with their elected officials.
Clean Elections Texas (CETex) was officially founded in September 2009 by a group of concerned and determined citizens who were troubled by the negative influence of money in Texas politics. They witnessed the astonishing degree to which our political system was broken through experiences in business, academia, and politics. They came come together to spread the word about Clean Elections knowing that most Texans are receptive to the idea of public campaign financing once they hear how well it is working in other states. Although CETex became a formal, non-profit organization in 2009, its followers have been working to educate people about money in politics and advocate for public funding since 2007. CETex has a list that is diverse in background, age, and geographic location. It is a statewide organization, headquartered in Dallas, and is governed by a Board of Directors.