Aug 12, 2011

A sense that Washington doesn’t serve most people

From NM - by Heath Haussamen - It’s no wonder that many average Americans stop paying attention to politics when a donor can spend $1 million anonymously in a presidential race and almost get away with it. The story of a company called W Spann LLC being created in March, giving $1 million to a Mitt Romney-supporting political action committee in April and dissolving in July is outrageous. The only name listed on the corporation’s paperwork was its attorney, and she refused to name her client. Politics is full of promises to make government better serve people and be less beholden to special interests, but this nation’s people have a strong sense that the opposite happens regardless of which political party controls things. It makes people feel like their voices and their votes don’t matter. One of the first steps toward convincing more voters to participate in the political process would be mandating full transparency in campaign financing. Donations and expenditures should be put online in real-time or close to it, and the system should be simplified so there are fewer loopholes. Washington needs to aggressively close loopholes as they are discovered and go after those who break the rules. Of course, changing attitudes about transparency in Washington would require a reduction in the influence of the wealthy special interests that don’t want transparency. So where do we go from here? Read more

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