While it would be nice to be able to wave a magic wand or pass a sweeping bill to fix the system, it's just not going to happen. Now is the time for determined and steadfast battles on several fronts.
Any reader unfamiliar with the ACLU's history and its leadership would be led by Geoffrey Stone's assertions to believe that the new leadership of the ACLU has come in and turned the ACLU's policy on campaign finance and free speech upside down. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
If Republicans want to defend the rights of corporations and billionaires to spend unlimited, secret money in campaigns, then they should say so. But they do not get a free pass to defend unlimited, secret political spending by sidestepping the question and pretending that Democrats are attacking our nation's First Amendment.
This is a tough issue, but the desire to do something should not lead us to abandon core free speech values that have served us so well for more than two centuries.
Think of this as the year that democracy of, by, and for the billionaires shall not perish from the Earth -- not when we're on a new electoral playing field in a political world in which distinctions are no longer made between unlimited money and unlimited speech.
What is Pay to Play? Commonly held, pay to play is a form of getting a special deal because you paid someone off.
The real purpose of an individual-candidate Super PAC is to circumvent candidate contribution limits. Wealthy donors, corporations and other contributors use these Super PACs as vehicles to make unlimited contributions to directly support the candidate backed by the Super PAC.
When voters go to the polls, they deserve as much information as possible in making decisions about our government. Unfortunately, self-determination, one of the rights we hold most dear is under assault by cloaked spending.
Obviously, those of us who want to reverse the trend and achieve a more egalitarian America face a formidable challenge: how to reduce the political dominance of the super-rich at a time when they continue to use their wealth to enhance their political clout.
Money isn't speech and corporations aren't people. Most people get that. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, political contributions by corporations and the richest Americans actually are free speech and entitled to special protection. Even when they're made in secret.
Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the views of the super-rich, this state of affairs is an unmitigated disaster for American democracy. Not only does it distort our electoral process, but it corrupts our elected officials and disillusions our citizens.
I don't think Governor Cuomo's refusal to debate Zephyr Teachout is really about sexism. It's about money-ism. In this democracy, not to have money is not to be qualified.
The goal of Crowdpac is to give every American access to the same political tools that the insiders have monopolized.
There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart, a poet wrote, and as this year's summer winds toward its end and elections approach, gratitude is indeed what our politicians have flowing from that space where their hearts should be.
New regulations must establish a clearly defined, restrictive limit on how much campaign activity a group can engage in and still be eligible for 501(c)(4) tax status.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, long known as a champion of big money in politics, has made a stunningly compelling case for a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress and the states to restore sensible limits on political spending. We appreciate his help and his clarity.