Money Talks: Must-Read Stories About Money and Politics

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Welcome to this week’s roundup (Feb. 24- Mar. 3, 2015) of must-read stories in the world of money and politics. Check back on Tuesday afternoons for more on the ever-increasing influence of the super-rich on American government. In the comments section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these stories and any we may have missed.


red-quotation-50Drowning, rising tides, floodgates. Why do we talk about out-of-control political spending like it’s a natural disaster? It’s a problem entirely created by humans.”

—Adam Smith of Every Voice, in an op-ed on money in politics for Over the past two weeks, we featured 13 viewpoints on various topics and solutions, encompassing the 2016 presidential election, the danger of electing our judges, publicly financed elections at the federal and state levels and local ballot initiatives to curb the influence of money in politics.


red-quotation-50Do I spend my time raising money, or do I spend my time raising hell?”

— Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the longest-serving congresswoman ever, explaining why she has decided not to run for re-election in 2016.


red-quotation-50It’s one of the great charades of American politics. It’s simply thumbing your nose at the American people and saying, ‘We’re shrewd, we’re going to circumvent these laws and you have to live by it.'”

— Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, commenting to the Miami Herald on Jeb Bush’s obviously insincere insistence that he hasn’t decided to run. Until he officially declares, his super PAC can accept unlimited donations from individuals.


red-quotation-50The fact that corporations that receive government contracts can secretly funnel untold sums to help elect the same lawmakers who are responsible for awarding those same government contracts is a scandal.”

— Lisa Gilbert of Public Citizen, explaining why 50 organizations called on President Obama to issue an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose their political spending.


red-quotation-50Even a single deep-pocketed donor can now summon virtually the entire field of candidates.”— A New York Times article outlining the regular attendance of GOP 2016 hopefuls at large-scale fundraisers thrown by millionaires, instead of traditional rallies and public speeches.


red-quotation-50I think Justice Kennedy’s view on this was naive at best. People are going to do what’s allowed under the law.”— A lobbyist to the Huffington Post, referring to Justice Kennedy’s reasoning that Citizens United would not lead to corruption, because the groups eligible for unlimited spending are supposed to remain separate from the politicians themselves.

Katie Rose Quandt reports and produces for She was previously a senior fellow at Mother Jones and has written for America, In These Times and Solitary Watch. Follow her on Twitter: @katierosequandt.
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