Billionaires Are Running Our Elections. Is There No Way Out of This?
What’s a citizen of our great republic to do? Rep. John Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, has enlisted 159 members of Congress to sign onto H.R. 20, legislation intended to encourage candidates to raise small donations. Inducements include tax credits for donors and, for candidates, a federal match and access to broadcast time.... Sure, 158 co-sponsors are Democrats. The bill is part of the Democrats’ “By The People Project,” a contract with America for the 2018 election. But one Republican openly supports H.R. 20, Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina. “It is time to return power to the people and get big money out of politics,” he says.... Sarbanes’ idea and other fixes won’t stop big donors and corporations, so long as the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United and other related decisions remain the law. Maybe if Democrats retake Congress and the White House, Sarbanes’ concept will become a reality. It’d be an improvement.... “We can’t stop the Koch brothers, but we can arm good candidates so that they can run an efficient campaign,” Sarbanes said by phone.... And then one day, the progressive state of California will devise a way to increase reliance on small donors, not the rich people and corporate donors who dominate. Such a nice concept.