Bernie Sanders, who smashed Obama's record for small-money donors in December and blew through his own fundraising goals, writes about the difference between raising lots of small sums from individual Americans and chasing huge donations from America's oligarchs.
Sanders says that if he is elected, he will reform campaign finance law to overturn Citizens United and make campaigning about pleasing voters, not making the super-rich even richer.
I'm not a US citizen or permanent resident, so I'm not allowed to contribute to election campaigns. But if I was, I'd give money to Sanders.
Here’s the truth: The economic and political systems of this country are stacked against ordinary Americans. The rich get richer and use their wealth to buy elections, and I believe that we cannot change this corrupt system by taking its money. If we’re serious about creating jobs, health care for all, climate change, and the needs of our children and the elderly, we must be serious about campaign finance reform.
So far in this election, less than four hundred families have contributed the majority of all the money raised by all the candidates and super PACs combined. According to media reports, one family will spend more money in this election than either the Democratic or Republican Parties.
This is not democracy. This is oligarchy.
Our job is not to think small in this moment. The current system of campaign finance in this country is utterly corrupt. That is one of the reasons I am so proud of how we have funded our campaign — over 2.5 million contributions from working Americans giving less than $30 at a time. But our campaign is unique.
We must pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and I will not nominate any justice to the Supreme Court who does not make it abundantly clear that she or he will overturn that decision. We need legislation that requires wealthy individuals and corporations who make large campaign contributions to disclose where their money is going. And more importantly, I believe we need to move towards the public funding of elections.
This Is Not Democracy. This Is Oligarchy.
[Bernie Sanders/Reader Supported News]
(via Naked Capitalism)
(Image: Bernie Sanders, Gage Skidmore, CC-BY-SA)