“The day after the election, 17 angry old white men will wake up and realize they’ve just bought the country.”
When our smaller donations don’t make a dent, we’re in real trouble.
When our votes don’t count, we’re in real trouble.
When Voter I.D. laws result in intentional voter suppression, potentially eliminating millions of votes, we’re in real trouble.
When billionaire sugar daddies can buy up obscene amounts of ad space, saturate the air waves with lies and propaganda, and influence an uninformed electorate, we’re in real trouble.
When laws are made to chip away at democracy, and we feel more and more helpless to go head-to-head with the rich and powerful, we’re in real trouble.
So we’ll have to keep fighting… and registering… and voting.
How does the brave new world of campaign financing created by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision stack up against Watergate? The short answer is: Things are even worse now than they were then.
The 1974 scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon was all about illegal money secretly flowing to politicians. That’s still a danger, but these days, the biggest weakness of our campaign finance system is not what’s illegal, but what’s legal. As Dan Eggen of the Washington Post put it, “there’s little need for furtive fundraising or secret handoffs of cash.” The rules increasingly allow people and corporations with great wealth to skew public policy toward their interests—without risking a jail time, or a fine, or any penalty at all. It’s an influence free-for-all.