The Tea Is In The Harbor
November 8, 2003
Today, a bigger band of patriots made history. By a margin of 85-15, you voted to dump $19 million in public campaign funds, and you sent a message loud and clear to George W. Bush—our political process belongs to the American people, not the special interests that fund his administration.
This campaign is no longer public-funded—it’s people funded.
How much would you give to defeat George W. Bush?
The way you made the decision is as important as the outcome. 104,746 Americans voted, with 89,533 choosing to forego federal matching funds. And you backed up your choice with action. With an average pledge or contribution of $116, you pledged $5.3 million to win back our government so that it works not for the profit of the few but the benefit of the many.
With your vote, you have not condemned campaign finance reform. The current system is broken, thwarted by this President’s flood of special interest money. But instead of just talking about reform, you have demonstrated real reform.
When Howard Dean is president, he will institute a new system of campaign finance reform, based on the very principles that Americans like you have proven work.
Today, Governor Dean was joined in Burlington, Vermont by seven grassroots leaders from across the country. Together they declared this campaign "free and independent of special interests."
To read the Declaration and add your name, go to:
Thomas Jefferson wrote two centuries ago that, "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. Whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights."
This is what you have done. Now, let’s attract the notice of all the people of the United States. Just as they always have done in the past, they—we—will set things right.
We have just begun. This decision means that we have many challenges ahead of us. We must expand this campaign from hundreds of thousand to tens of millions. And we will do it the way we always have—by word of mouth, one American at a time.