Big Money in Politics – Why should I care?
Whether your top issue is health care, the climate crisis, immigrant rights, education, good jobs, women’s rights or almost any other progressive issue, billionaires and special interests are spending unlimited amounts of hidden money to “buy” ballot measures and elections to obstruct any progress on your key issues.
Nearly $1 Billion was spent on CA ballot measures in 5 years from 2012 to 2016, almost all by donors hiding behind fine print and deceptive names like “Stop Special Interest Money Now.”
In the 2012 Obama and Romney presidential election, the top 32 Super PAC donors donated more than the bottom 3.7 million donors did (about $317 million versus $313 million).
A 2013 study by Professors Martin Gilens (Princeton) and Benjamin Page (Northwestern) looked at ~20 years of data to determine how well the government represents the people. The central point from their research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial impacts on U.S. government policy, while public opinion has “near-zero” impact on U.S. law.
Nearly every issue we face as a nation is caught in the grip of corruption.
Big businesses spend billions influencing America's government. We give them trillions in return. In the last 5 years alone, the 200 most politically active companies in the U.S. spent $5.8 billion influencing our government with lobbying and campaign contributions. Those same companies got $4.4 trillion in taxpayer support – a return of 750 times their investment. It's a vicious cycle of lucrative, legalized corruption.
Our elected officials spend 30-70% of their time in office fundraising, and they have almost no choice but to pass laws that keep their top donors happy.
We need to change the rules. Until we do, the corruption of big money in politics will continue to block progress on every issue we care about.