Entrepreneurs Feel Disadvantaged in Electoral Process, Want Campaign Finance Reform

November 5, 2014

6:30 pm

In the midst of the GOP’s gain of the Senate yesterday, a recent poll conducted by the Small Business Majority shows that entrepreneurs feel disadvantaged in the American electoral process and believe that big business has an unfair influence on politicians. By and large, they also are in favor of campaign finance reform.

“It’s important to remember that small business owners are pragmatic, not ideological. And contrary to a long-held misconception, they are not reflexively anti-government,” said Small Business Majority founder & CEO John Arensmeyer. “They want government to understand their needs and respond in a constructive manner—and then act on it, by adopting policies that level the playing field with big business and bring fairness to our campaign finance laws.”

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Over three-fourths of those polled believed that big business has a significant impact on the electoral process (via Small Business Majority).

According to the study, conducted between September 5 and September 18 of this year, 77 percent of small business owners believe that big business has a large influence on political decisions in the United States, whereas a paltry 24 percent of those polled believed that small businesses have a significant impact on the process. In addition, 72 percent of entrepreneurs polled believe that our electoral system needs to undergo major changes.

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An overwhelming 93 percent of those surveyed demand greater transparency in campaign financing (via Small Business Majority).

More importantly, it seems that a vast majority of entrepreneurs support campaign finance reform. The study found that 85 percent of entrepreneurs support modifying the way we currently finance election campaigns to using only small contributions from voters and a limited amount of public funds – an indication that entrepreneurs are wary of campaign donations as a leveraging tool in the American electoral process. Additionally, 94 percent of small business owners support greater transparency, requiring special interest groups that advertise during elections to publicly disclose where their funding comes from.

Calls for campaign finance reform is nothing new. For instance, despite the mass amounts of money that came in from Silicon Valley for this year’s midterm elections, many in the industry also support greater transparency when it come to where the money is coming from. And for many entrepreneurs and small business owners, the outcome of the midterm elections are essential to the success of their businesses. Indeed, it’s the election cycle that deals with representatives that are supposed to serve in your best interest, but such motives can be skewed with various campaign donations from large corporations – for that reason, it’s easy to see how and why entrepreneurs can have such views on our electoral process.

Of those who participated in the survey by Small Business Majority, 48 percent identified as Republican, 32 percent as Democrat, and 11 percent as independent or other. You can read the full report here.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things.

Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in ‘Doctor Who’, Murakami, ‘The Mindy Project’, and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a “writer”. Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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