Lawrence Lessig's plea to members of Congress wasn't exactly diplomatic. The Harvard law professor was referring to the outside role fundraising plays in lawmakers' schedules, and surveys showing that the most people believe the current system keeps them from being heard.
What if "endorsement" is a political red herring? "Endorsing" suggests approval, but for a lot of us that option is closed. But, hey, we still have to choose--we must choose because democracy itself is at stake today.
Hillary Clinton's critics claim that federal ethics laws were broken when her subordinates at the State Department arranged meetings and other favors for donors to the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation.
In 1920, on the first day of Prohibition, people must have looked around and thought, "How the hell did this happen?" Wayne Wheeler, leader of the National Anti Saloon League, knew exactly how it happened.
Ultimately, I don't think Bernie Sanders will endorse Clinton's candidacy. I really don't. I think Sanders wants to endorse Clinton. I even understand the view of some in the Democratic party that he needs to endorse Clinton to promote party unity.
A repaired presidential public financing system would dramatically increase the amount of clean resources available to participating candidates and thereby greatly dilute the importance and impact of outside spending groups and their mega-donors.
Even if we abolished super PACs tomorrow we would do nothing to incentivize our elected leaders to talk to anyone other than the very wealthy. They'll still need donors who can "max out," and that probably doesn't include me, or you or anyone you know.
A popular issue that Senator Sanders has made his own is reform of the minimum wage. The current federal minimum wage is set at $7.25. Americans instinctively know that it is no longer possible for individuals to live on such a wage.
For Richmond residents whose recollections are fading, we now have a fascinating 90-minute video history of that campaign. Entitled Nate Bates for Mayor, it provides a timely reminder of the stakes involved in a key Left Coast battle against big money in politics that resonated nationally.