Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., on July 25, 2016. File Photo by Pete Marovich/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled a proposal Monday to ban all corporate donations from the party's national convention in Milwaukee next summer.
Sanders, whose own presidential campaign is made up mostly of small donations from individuals, has long opposed corporate influence in politics. The Vermont senator released the proposal Monday, just days after he was admitted to a Las Vegas hospital after suffering a heart attack.
"Our grassroots-funded campaign is proving every single day that you don't need billionaires and private fundraisers to run for president," Sanders said in a proposal titled, "Get corporate money out of politics."
"In 2016, 17 donors gave three-quarters of the Democratic National Convention funding, with large corporations like Bank of America, Peco Energy, Comcast, and Facebook each donating over $1 million.
"Their lobbyists were everywhere and filled the VIP suites. This type of corporate sponsorship is a corrupting influence and must end if politicians are going to represent the American people."
The proposal calls for a ban of corporate contributions to the Democratic National Convention and related party committees. It would tighten the Federal Election Campaign Act to require public funding for national party conventions.
Sanders also calls for limiting contributions to the presidential inauguration to $500, banning advertisements during presidential debates and pushing for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling that protects corporate spending as free speech.
A group of senators led by Democratic leader Chuck Schumer introduced a similar amendment in July.
DNC convention CEO Joe Solmonese has said, however, he has no plans to return corporate contributions already made to the convention.
The 2020 Democratic National Convention to formally nominate the party's presidential candidate will be held from July 13-16 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. The Republican convention will be held a month later in Charlotte, N.C.