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Money in Politics

Jeb! Wants to Overturn Citizens United, But Not to Get Big Money Out of Politics

Michael Keegan | Posted 02.10.2016 | Politics
Michael Keegan

It's almost hard to imagine a campaign finance landscape more broken than the one we currently have, but Jeb! has done it. As MSNBC's Steve Benen points out, his vision seems to rest on the question: Why have donors give millions to outside groups like super PACs, when you can have those millions just go straight to the candidates?

California Getting Closer To Having Lawmakers Wear Donors’ Logos

The Huffington Post | Robert Baldwin III | Posted 02.10.2016 | Politics

A transparency group in California on Tuesday announced it had collected 40,000 signatures to place an initiative on the ballot that would require st...

The Kochs Are Ghostwriting America's Story

Michael Winship | Posted 02.10.2016 | Politics
Michael Winship

Gather round for the word of the day: metanarrative. Definitions vary but let's say it's one big narrative that connects the meaning of events to a belief thought to be an essential truth, the storytelling equivalent of the unified field theory in physics. Now use it to define what's being done to America today. The Koch brothers and the extraordinary machine they have built in cahoots with fellow billionaires and others, have spent hundreds and hundreds of millions to get their way, all part of one long story told in pursuit of a specific end: to make the needs of the very, very few our nation's top priority and to thwart or destroy any group effort among the poor and middle class to do or say otherwise.

Can You Walk the Walk When the Shoes Don't Fit? Sanders, Clinton and the New Hampshire Debate

Stephen Spaulding | Posted 02.05.2016 | Politics
Stephen Spaulding

Last night's Democratic presidential primary debate in New Hampshire included the first question on campaign finance policy so far in the 2016 race.

Liberals and Conservatives United for Money-in-Politics Reform

Nick Penniman | Posted 02.02.2016 | Politics
Nick Penniman

Outside of the beltway, it's not really controversial to assert that money in politics has reached a crisis level. But in Washington, a town where naming a post office might set off a filibuster, it's hard to overstate the value of consensus.

Democracy of the Billionaires

Nomi Prins | Posted 02.01.2016 | Politics
Nomi Prins

For your amusement and mine, this being an all-fun-all-the-time election campaign, let's examine the relationships between our twenty-first-century plutocrats and the contenders who have raised $5 million or more in individual contributions or through super PACs and are at 5 percent or more in composite national polls.

I Tried to Cover the Secret Koch Retreat and Here's What They Did to Me

Lauren Windsor | Posted 01.31.2016 | Politics
Lauren Windsor

The Koch brothers' donor retreats are notoriously secretive affairs, but after my publishing of several hours of audio from their 2014 summer confab, the network began to bring select journalists behind its closed doors. With strings attached.

Both Parties Agree: Selling Out Is Worth It

Michael Winship | Posted 01.30.2016 | Politics
Michael Winship

Pity poor Washington. No doubt breaking the hearts of elected and appointed government officials, their staffs and hangers-on, a blog at the Center for Responsive Politics reports that the "influence industry appears to be contracting, and the trend continued in 2015."

Sanders Is Right That America Is Facing an Emergency

Bob Burnett | Posted 01.28.2016 | Politics
Bob Burnett

Some mock Bernie's identification as a "Democratic Socialist," while others lament his supposed policy deficiencies. The critics miss the point. Sanders is running to call attention to a national emergency: the influence of money on politics, and economic inequality in general.

Let's Ask Obama to Give This Speech Next

Bill Moyers | Posted 01.28.2016 | Politics
Bill Moyers

Americans of every stripe know money corrodes our politics. In a poll last year, the New York Times and CBS found that 85 percent of us think the system for funding political campaigns should be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt.

Bernie Had Me at 'Revolution'

Annabel Park | Posted 01.25.2016 | Politics
Annabel Park

One reason that so many people didn't take Sanders seriously is precisely because they believed his rhetoric is out of mainstream. Many people associate the word "revolution" with violence. They can't imagine a peaceful one at the ballot.

The Unbearable Whiteness of Money in Politics

Sean McElwee | Posted 01.24.2016 | Politics
Sean McElwee

The rise of big donor plutocracy is especially disturbing given the rising evidence that African-Americans and Latinos have little influence over policy. A recent working paper suggests that African-Americans, and in particularly Black women, enjoy far less policy representation than whites

Money Men Say, Voters Move Over, It's Not Your Election!

Bill Moyers | Posted 01.23.2016 | Politics
Bill Moyers

David Brooks, one of the most prominent of Republican elites in the country, who has even been touted as President Obama's "favorite pundit," is calling on the donor class to rescue the party from the rabble. Game's over, voters: The oligarchs will decide this election. For that's what they are: a small, unbelievably wealthy group of the powerful and privileged who already have a tighter grip on our nation, its government, politics and economy than the rapacious robber barons of our first Gilded Age. Brooks and like-minded elites believe they must be trusted to do the right thing. Let them be the Deciderers.

Maybe Bernie Can Win

Bob Burnett | Posted 01.22.2016 | Politics
Bob Burnett

My decision on whom to support for the Democratic nomination does not come down to policies or gender or age; it's refusing to be satisfied with the Democratic Party "business as usual" process.

Bernie Sanders Wants To Kill Citizens United. It's Actually Not That Easy.

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 01.22.2016 | Politics

To commemorate the six-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's reviled Citizens United decision, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lamented the occasion on...

The Devastating Cost of Monetized Elections

Ralph Nader | Posted 01.22.2016 | Politics
Ralph Nader

The civic minds of the people are sidelined by the monetized minds of a corrupted commercial media, political consultants, pundits and the purveyors of an ever-more dictatorial corporate state.

Six Years Later: Citizens United's Winners Aren't Declared on Election Day

Russ Feingold | Posted 01.21.2016 | Politics
Russ Feingold

As we watch the Republican primary unfold, it's easy to forget for most of the candidates, there are two campaigns. There's only one official campaign, of course, but with one notable exception, every single one of the GOP candidates has a multi-million dollar super PAC supporting them.

How an Early Endorsement From Largest LGBT Group May Reveal Hillary Clinton's Worst Fears

Michelangelo Signorile | Posted 02.02.2016 | Queer Voices
Michelangelo Signorile

This week the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT group, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. It was a bit of a shocker not because HRC endorsed a Democrat but that it occurred before even one vote has been cast in the Democratic primaries.

6 Years of Citizens United

Zephyr Teachout | Posted 01.21.2016 | Politics
Zephyr Teachout

Citizens United was bad history, bad logic, bad law. Nobody with any common sense thinks that huge corporate expenditures don't corrupt politics, but the Court left common sense behind that day.

Hillary and Bernie: The Credibility Gap

Robert L. Borosage | Posted 01.21.2016 | Politics
Robert L. Borosage

Clinton argues that she favors fundamental campaign finance reform, but she can't "unilaterally disarm." Deep pocket Republicans are amassing huge war chests to assault her. She has to be armed with big money to defend herself. But in doing so, Clinton "unilaterally disarmed" her own credibility.

Martin O'Malley to President Obama: I'd Sign It If I Could

Lauren Windsor | Posted 01.20.2016 | Politics
Lauren Windsor

Congressional gridlock is preventing campaign finance reform, but President Obama can take executive action to address this problem now -- he can sign an executive order that would require federal contractors to disclose their political spending.

Why Does the GOP Hate College?

Sean McElwee | Posted 01.20.2016 | Politics
Sean McElwee

While Democrats see public higher education as a public good that contributes to economic growth and innovation, Republicans see higher education as a consumer good that only the wealthy should enjoy.

Solutions to the Influence of Big Money in Politics: Heeding President Obama's Call

Stephen Spaulding | Posted 01.15.2016 | Politics
Stephen Spaulding

President Obama's valedictory State of the Union last week brimmed with optimism. Refraining from a traditional laundry list of policy proposals, he stayed rooted in big themes about America, our future and the challenges ahead. He spoke eloquently about how our democracy is built upon "voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love."

Democrats Pick Sanders/Republicans Pick Trump/Elites Freak Out: It Could Happen

Miles Mogulescu | Posted 01.13.2016 | Politics
Miles Mogulescu

What six months ago seemed impossible and two months ago seemed improbable would then become not only possible but probable: Voters' rejection of the governing elite and the donor class in both political parties.

The President Heard Us

Frances Moore Lappe | Posted 01.13.2016 | Politics
Frances Moore Lappe

In his State of the Union, President Obama called for "reducing the influence of money in our politics." Fantastic. He has heard the growing cry of the 85 percent of us who want big changes (with almost half of us wanting a complete rebuild!) in how America funds elections.