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Money in Politics

A recent poll performed by the NY Times and CBS News confirms that Americans believe that money is causing major problems with our politics.

A stunning 84% say that money has too much influence on political campaigns, and 85% say that candidates who win public office then promote policies that favor people and groups who donated money to their campaigns (55% say “most of the time” and another 30% say “sometimes”). And 66% say that the wealthy have more of a chance to influence elections than other Americans.

But the interesting result is that Americans are virtually unanimous in saying that our campaign finance system needs changes. 13% says that only minor changes are needed, 39% (3 times more) say that fundamental changes are needed, and a whopping 46% wants to throw our current system away and completely rebuild it. Absolutely nobody answered that no changes were needed.

The poll goes on in the same way about what to do. 78% say that spending on advertising should be limited. 75% say that donors should be publicly disclosed. And 54% say that donating money to political candidates is not free speech (Citizens United notwithstanding).

There’s just one big fat ironic problem with this poll. They clearly only polled the 99%. If the 1% has as much power as this poll suggests, then everyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.



  1. Scott Segraves wrote:

    It’s been 2 or 3 years since uber-richie Nick Hanauer warned “my fellow zillionaires” about pitchforks and pine tar if they don’t quit treating the rest of us like their disposable property. We’ve seen how much change in attitude — much less, action — his remarks wrought. So, probably futile to expect “them what’s got” to give a flying fbleep about a piddly poll of their underlings.

    Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 3:40 am | Permalink
  2. JWHAT wrote:

    I think most of the elected politicians are being honest when they say “I don’t pay attention to polls.” They don’t need to. Do what the wealthy say and they can be reassured of re-election.

    Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink
  3. Mostly.Generic wrote:

    The Represent.Us campaign actually seems to have a decent strategy to bring some change tothe system using ballot initiatives to introduce laws against corruption.

    Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink
  4. BTN wrote:

    Here’s another thing: politicians calim to represent everyone, right? So why is it that they only meet with the rich and/or powerful, especially their donors?

    Meeting with Congressmen should be a lottory system, with every voter allowed one ticket in the lotto. Also, there should be public notes on who meets with our politicians and transcripts of the meetings. Perhaps some exceptions in limited cases.

    Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  5. John wrote:

    Everyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.

    Monday, June 8, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink