Money in Politics

ed rosenthal
January 21, 2015

It's hard for most people to understand, but the only effective way to control the influence of money in politics is to limit the amount that can be spent.  Unfortunately, the Supreme Court, using logic that escapes me, has said that you can't do that.   Given the political reality that the Burger Court's mistaken decision is unlikely to be overturned in the near future, what is to be done?

It helps a lot if ordinary citizens contribute to the candidates of the choice.   As my late wife, Pat Wiggins, used to say: "you don't have to have the most money, but you do have to have enough money."   When she first ran for State Assembly in 1998, she was outspent more than 3 to 1 by two different candidates, each of whom received huge individual checks.   Pat's largest contribution was $2000 from my father; most of her checks were quite small.  And yet she managed to scrape together about $100,000.   It was enough; she won.

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"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
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