Summary of money in politics crisis

Bob Edgar, Common Cause 11.18.10

We have just seen our first secret elections since Watergate, with record spending, thanks to an activist Supreme Court and a well-planned and funded assault on our federal and state campaign laws. Corporations were allowed to use their general treasuries to influence elections for the first time in over 100 years, filling our airwaves with misleading attack ads.The deluge of big money was the big story of the 2010 election. We had a $4 billion campaign for control of Congress, with more than $500 million invested by outside groups largely bankrolled by anonymous and corporate donors. The final numbers aren’t in yet, but this was by far the most expensive mid-term election in our nation’s history.Clearly, our democracy is in crisis. Big corporations and millionaires have taken over our elections, drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans. The income gap is bigger now than at any time since the late 1920s and the era of the Robber Barons in the 1800s. And now, as then, wealthy special interests are calling the shots. Our government has been hijacked to serve private interests over the public interest. But it’s our democracy, and it’s time to take it back. Our elected representatives need to be accountable to the people who elect them, not the people who fund their campaigns or pay for mudslinging against their opponents.It’s time we return to government of, by, and for the people, not government of, bought, and paid for by special interests. We must join together and act now, or we risk losing control of our democracy and with it the ability to protect the public interest and advance an agenda founded on social, environmental and economic justice.We must work together to build a movement that channels concern over the growth of corporate power and the ability of wealthy special interests to dominate our democracy into a plan of action. Our collective organizational strength can engage the American people as we work to develop consensus and a shared commitment to win reforms that will check the power of special interests and chart the course for voter-owned elections for the next generation.We must begin our planning now – together. Please join us for a convening of organizational leaders at the offices of Common Cause on Monday, November 22nd at 1:00 pm to discuss how we can create a collaborative national plan to engage our members and the public, raise our collective voices, and participate in direct actions to return our democracy to the people. We need you at the table.Peace,

#elections #corporateinfluence #campaigncontributions