Are you as stunned by that headline as I am? Wondering whether that’s true or just another #FakeNews claim from our President?
The Center for Responsive Politics reports that 20 individual donors gave more than $500 million combined to political organizations in 2016. But, as they say on TV game shows: Wait, there’s more. The 20 largest organizational donors also gave a total of more than $500 million, and more than $1 billion came from the top 40 donors. Sadly, because of “dark money” we may never have an accurate counting of who gave and just how much to which candidate.
Which leads many people to ask: Can anyone successfully run a campaign supported by people donating small amounts of money when we allow big-money donors unregulated power in our electoral process?
Like you, I’ve long been concerned about the influence of money in our politics. I’ve made it one of my major campaign themes. Believe me, as a candidate for office, I’m acutely aware of what’s expected of me by those who question my viability based on my campaign financial statements.
As time allows, I try to read as much as I can about campaign finance reform. Sometimes, the volume of stories I put aside for reading becomes overwhelming, filling my email folder with links to stories I hope to read and digest. For example, here’s one I added just this week which discloses some of those big money donors: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/04/19/who-will-protect-elections-us-oligarchs
While many people focus on money, there’s another assault on our electoral process we can’t ignore. Multiple efforts are underway to undermine, reshape and rig voting in America. Recent stories from neighboring Wisconsin about voter suppression in 2016 and Governor Walker’s refusal to call special elections should alarm everyone. Here’s a story that examined how Wisconsin’s voter ID laws suppressed the vote: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/voter-suppression-wisconsin-election-2016/
We remember that President Trump repeatedly claimed that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election, going so far as to create a commission to investigate. Even though the commission disbanded, the Trump administration refused to let the matter die. Now, it appears they’ll be successful in changing the 2020 census in ways that will undercount people of color.
This campaign by Republicans is certainly not new. They’ve been at it for years:
If you have time, I hope you’ll read some of these articles and, please, feel free to share others here that you think would be of benefit for those who follow this page.