Pelosi Says She Wants Her Legacy to Include Small-Donor Support for Dems, Despite History With Wealthy Donors

March 18, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Monday said that she hopes her legacy will include substantial small-donor support in the Democratic Party, despite her history of taking money from corporations and close association with the House Majority PAC, which takes money from billionaires and corporations.

Pelosi spoke during a press conference at the Urban League Empowerment Center in Ferguson, Missouri, where she rallied support for a pair of congressional bills, HR1 and HR4, which she claims will restore ethics in elections and push back against voter suppression.

"I don't think money is speech. I don't that's what our founders intended. I do know that the Supreme Court wrongly decided in Citizens United that corporations were people and therefore they could spend endless money," Pelosi said. "We can't spend endless money in an election, so they were getting bigger opportunities than even people, so with all the respect in the world for the ACLU, I completely disagree with that point of view. I don't think that money is speech and I do think that there should be a limit on [it]."

Pelosi went on to say that the essence of the legislation is to "honor small donors" and to make sure that they have a seat at the Democratic table.

"One of the legacies I hope to leave—not so fast with the legacy—but one of the legacies that I hope to leave is that we have small-donor support for the party in a very substantial way and that keeps growing," said Pelosi, who laughed while talking about her legacy. "I think that not only is what we are doing putting us on the better part of history, it's putting us on the better part of the future."

During the 2018 election cycle, Pelosi's campaign committee, Nancy Pelosi for Congress, took tens of thousands of dollars from corporate PACs, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, CME Group, Facebook, Google, Delta Airlines, Mortgage Bankers Association, and the End Citizens United PAC, which tends to endorse Democrats who want money out of politics. She is also aligned with the House Majority PAC, which took millions of dollars from multiple billionaires, including Reid Hoffman, James Simons, George Soros, and Michael Bloomberg, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Democratic super PAC also took hundreds of thousands of dollars from various PACs, including NextGen Climate Action Committee, which is associated with billionaire Tom Steyer.

Pelosi also has a history of attending expensive fundraisers, including a three-day, closed door summit in 2017 at California's posh La Costa Resort. That fundraiser was hosted by Democracy Alliance, a "donor club of deep-pocketed liberal donors that each pledge to direct hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to approved left-wing groups," the Washington Free Beacon reported.