Money in politics corruption is universally reviled by the American public. It blocks progress on most issues, squanders billions of dollars from philanthropists and stymies the most skillful public interest advocates. It even drives issues like the sizzling IRS scandal, though you wouldn't know it by watching the news. But it would be foolish to believe that a culture of corruption that developed over decades can be undone overnight. It will take time, exactly the same kind of slow and painful social change that created the corruption in the first place. We have to create the conditions where politicians representing their constituents is "normal." And even if we do, all politicians will not suddenly become enlightened. It just means we'll have a better chance that the actual needs of society will more frequently be met by the actions of its government.
Seven-ish months ago I hated Los Angeles, didn't care who ran for mayor, and had no conception that the city could do anything to hasten the day when the Big Money devil is no longer allowed to poison politics and, by extension, almost every aspect of life.
Equally, if not more, disturbing, is that other than the investigation of this handful of groups, the IRS hasn't actually taken the steps needed to ensure that sham non-profits are not abusing the tax code to flood our elections with secret money.
Simply tallying Adelson's wins and losses -- or the Koch brothers', or George Soros's, or any other mega-donors' -- misses the bigger point.
Americans of all political stripes should be outraged at the recent revelation that the Tea Party was unfairly targeted by the IRS before last year's election. But the lesson that the right is drawing from the IRS's misdeeds is wrong.
What we need is something to take the place of Occupy; a sort of honesty movement to bring about greater transparency and accountability in government.
“We got way too excited over money in the 2012 elections,” Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein argued at a conference on money in politic...
By Dave Levinthal May 7, 2013...
We went to war with Germany, Italy and Japan on December 7, 1941 to defeat fascism. Most people would define fascism as a rigid social order that sub...
By Dave Levinthal May 4, 2013...
By the time we reach the 2014 election, almost one third of the current Senate will have resigned in the past three elections. Recent reports indicate that those formerly considered to be virtually automatic candidates are rejecting the opportunity to seek the vacated seats.
"It's not that the system is broken," says the conservative populist Governor Buddy Roemer, "it's that it's bought." The question that logically follows is what we, the American people, can do about it. How can we remove the corroding influence of money in politics?
The power of the gun lobby is rooted in its role in private campaign finance. For all the talk of a gun culture in the United States and the invocation of the limits imposed by the Second Amendment, the real problem is that the views possessed by a huge majority of Americans do not possess political salience.
It begs the question: What is causing young people to be more pessimistic about the power of their vote? And not only that, but why are the politically engaged even more pessimistic?
The state of New York has become an embarrassing example of what can happen when money is allowed to rule politics. But New York and its governor, Andrew Cuomo, now have an opportunity to shed the state's pay-to-play image.