Political campaign donations
Editor, Daily Times:
Since the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 about the case, Citizens United vs. FEC, large donations have been pouring into candidate’s campaign coffers. Therefore, one might think we have the best government money can buy. But, not so fast. Are the majority of Americans benefitting from this Congress? You know that they are busy drafting another bill that gives additional tax benefits to the wealthy.
I read in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram that the Center for Responsive Politics actually keeps track of and reports on campaign donations. They found that GOP candidates receive about 90 percent of their donations from large donors, of $2,700 or $5,400 with less than 10 percent from the under $200 category. Democrats are not much better with 79-80 percent from large donations and 10-11 percent under $200, with a few exceptions. Randy Bryce, candidate for the 1st District seat in the House of Representatives, stands out with 75 percent of his campaign funds coming from small donations of under $200.
Some national polls indicate that “money in politics” is one of the most important issues to voters this year. Recently, 164 Democrats in the House of Representatives proposed “By The People” Resolution that:
-- Addresses voter security,
-- Achieves automatic voter registration,
-- Implements ethics laws,
-- Sets limits on lobbying, and
-- Requires disclosure of secret campaign money (until Citizen’s United is reversed.)
This proposal has little to no chance of ever getting a hearing much less get a vote in the House. But, I for one, am glad to see that some people have heard us who desperately want big money expunged from our electoral process. You should not have to be a millionaire to run for any office. Campaigns should not cost billions of dollars to run. Donations to candidates should be limited to a reasonable amount.
In my opinion, we certainly don’t have the best government money can buy. But, if Congress acts to make some of the changes proposed in “By The People,” we could in fact have a more democratic electoral process. Until then, I am mailing a $20 check to the candidates I support.