U.S. Sets Poor Example With Too Much Money in Politics

Connecticut’s relatively new public campaign system has run afoul of some courts and is causing no small amount of confusion in the run up to the August 10th Primary.

The July 13th circuit court ruling upheld some provisions and threw out others leading the General Assembly into special session on July 30th to fix it.

No matter how the new law settles into practice, the court has found a ban on lobbyists giving donations to candidates and committees is unconstitutional. The judges saved the Rowland-inspired change, however, by upholding the ban on contractors who do business with the state.   The only thing certain in this “money is the mother’s milk of politics” saga is that the final judicial and legislative action on the Connecticut law may not be resolved in this election cycle.

Columnist and former Norwalk Mayor Bill Collins observes  in a recent column that giving the very wealthy, lobbyists and corporations unfettered influence in the process doesn’t make the US a shining example of how democracy should work

We seem to feel that the American system is above reproach because that’s essentially what we learned in school. But the rest of the world is not so easily deluded. There’s widespread understanding that money rules Congress, both by promoting specific candidates and by fawning over them when they win. That’s why a few enlightened lands have imposed strict contribution limits and much shorter campaigns. They view our experience with horror.

Here’s a link to Bill’s column. http://www.otherwords.org/articles/it_takes_too_much_money_to_run