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'Pressure Works': Kamala Harris Becomes Fifth Likely Democratic 2020 Contender to Swear Off Corporate Cash

"Any other Democrat who wants to run in 2020 should make the same pledge" to reject corporate PAC money, progressives say

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) announced Monday that she had reversed course regarding corporate PAC donations, opting not to accept them. (Photo: Mobilus in Mobili/Flickr/cc)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) followed the lead of Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday when she announced that she would reject donations from corporate PACs, just a few weeks after a town hall attendee pointedly questioned her about her stance on such contributions.

On the New York-based radio show "The Breakfast Club," host Charlamagne Tha God asked Harris about the exchange she had with a constituent in Sacramento, who asked her if she would take money from political action committees representing corporate interests. When Harris told the audience member, "It depends," he replied, "Wrong answer."  

"I think that money has had such an outside influence on politics," said Harris on Monday, two weeks after the exchange garnered attention. "...We're all supposed to have an equal vote, but money has now really tipped the balance between an individual having equal power in an election to a corporation. So I've actually made a decision since I had that conversation that I'm not going to accept corporate PAC checks."

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Harris is the fifth Democratic senator who's been repeatedly named as a likely 2020 presidential contender to announce that she'll forswear corporate money—a sign, some progressives said Monday, that the rejection of such contributions is rapidly becoming a prerequisite for candidacy.

The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur, co-founder of the Justice Democrats, said the progressive PAC deserved credit for the wave of 2020 frontrunners who have been pressured into promising not to take corporate cash. The Justice Democrats last year demanded that candidates pledge to reject such donations, and is so far endorsing more than 50 candidates who have agreed to take the pledge for 2018.

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