Almost two decades ago (March 1, 2000) Senator John McCain wrote an editorial for USA Today: “Campaign Finance Reform Must Not be Ignored.”
Unfortunately, his pleas for reform were indeed ignored.
Recently, Charles and David Koch, heirs of an industrial family invested in fossil fuels, announced a donation of twenty million dollars to promote President Trump’s recently passed tax plan.
Both major political parties benefit from donations large enough to make the heads spin of ordinary folks. In 2017, the median household income, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was $59, 039, not quite .003 percent of what the Koch brothers gave this one time. (They’ve given much more over many years.)
Should we not be uneasy with the thought that if politicians want to be elected, they must support policies favored by big donors?
Campaign finance reform became harder when a Supreme Court decision in 2010 struck down the limits on corporate giving.
Reform, if it is to happen now, may be up to the states. One movement encourages a sufficient number of states to seek an amendment to the U.S. Constitution overturning the 2010 decision. Other states are trying various ways to publically finance local elections.
Success depends on the support of ordinary citizens—or they can ignore the efforts at reform, as they did before, and continue with a government influenced and operated overwhelmingly by the wealthy.