WASHINGTON, D.C. Yesterday, Task Force on Strengthening Democracy Co-Chair Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-03) and Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) sent a letter to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) urging it to deny KalshiEX, LLC’s (Kalshi) proposal to allow individuals to bet on party control of either chamber of Congress for a given term. This would not only be a wild departure from the CFTC’s mission of regulating derivatives and commodities, but also a dangerous incentive to increase election interference and the proliferation of dark money in our political process.
“At a time when a majority of American voters believe democracy is under threat, the stakes are too high to incentivize activities that would further erode trust in the integrity of our democratic institutions or elected leaders.” the lawmakers wrote.
“Free, fair and transparent elections are the foundation of American democracy. When our constituents exercise their fundamental right to vote, they are not merely choosing the winner of a contest. They are making a values-based declaration regarding the future direction of our country and the nature of the policy that should govern it. The CFTC should avoid blessing any betting scheme that would frustrate that expectation by undermining the credibility of our democratic elections and contributing to voter cynicism about the political process.”
They concluded, “No one should be able to wager the rights and opportunities of millions of individuals for his or her personal gain. Elections free from interference, abuse or the corrupting influence of money are in the public interest, as is the prohibition of activities that could reasonably incentivize individuals to interfere with our electoral process. For these reasons, we urge the CFTC to again recognize the dire implications of betting on elections and deny the Kalshi congressional control event contract.”
Read the full text of the letter here.