Preview: Who’s Buying our Midterm Elections?

In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court is expected to issue another big decision on campaign finance, one that could further open the floodgates to unfettered and anonymous contributions, just as the Citizens United case did four years ago.

This week Bill speaks with investigative journalists Kim Barker and Andy Kroll about the role of dark money — and the wealthy donors behind it — in this year’s midterm elections.

Already, three times as much money has been raised for this year’s elections as four years ago, when the Citizens United decision was announced.

“This is the era of the empowered ‘one percenter’. They’re taking action and they’re becoming the new, headline players in this political system,” Kroll tells Moyers. Kim Barker adds, “People want influence. It’s a question of whether we’re going to allow it to happen, especially if we’re going to allow it to happen and nobody even knows who the influencers are.”

Barker is an investigative reporter with the independent, non-profit news organization ProPublica and Andy Kroll is a journalist in the Washington bureau of Mother Jones magazine.

Learn more about the production team behind Moyers & Company. Watch the full show »

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  • Anonymous

    Senator Cruz feels that the SCOTUS “Citizens United v. FEC” decision was a victory for free speech…

    “United States Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    Dear Gerald,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding Citizens United v. FEC. Input from fellow Texans significantly informs my decision-making and empowers me to better represent the state. I especially appreciate your patience awaiting a response while I have been setting up my office and mail system.

    The Citizens United ruling was a victory for free speech, and I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision. Historically, campaign finance reform has been a tool to stifle free speech and protect incumbents. While we should have robust rules requiring disclosure of contributions to candidates, political speech should freely enter the marketplace of ideas whether that speech is from a corporation, an advocacy group, or a mom-and-pop small business.

    Thank you for sharing your views with me. Please feel free to contact me in the future about any issue important to your family. It is an honor to serve you and the people of Texas.

    For Liberty,

    Senator Ted Cruz…”

  • Anonymous

    That was a reply from my signing a petition to repeal the Citizens United decision.

  • Anonymous

    I get similar responses to Cruz. He never acknowledges those who disagree with him…and I am one of his constituents.

  • fmendoza

    ONE WAY TO BYPASS SUPREME COURT. ON REDUCINCING CORPORATE MONEY IN ELECTIONS. DEMAND THE F.C.C EXCERCISE THE PUBLIC INTERST CLAUSE. AND REQUIRE T.V. @ AND CABLE STATIONS TO PROVIDE FREE T.V. AND CABLE BROADCAST TIME TO POLITICAL CANADATES. AS A REQUIREMENT FOR RECEIVING PUBLIC BROACASTING LIC. @ AIR RIGHTS. THIS WILL DO MORE TO REDUCE CORP. MONEY. THAN EVEN CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS. AND I DON’T SEE HOW THE SUPREME COURT COULD OVER RULE. THAT FREE SPEECH IS NOT FREE SPEECH. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DISCUSS THESE VERY IMPORTANT POINTS. WITH FREINDS. AND OR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. AND SEE WHAT THEY THINK. ABOUT THESE POINTS.