The problem with money in politics is not so much the amount that is spent on campaigns as it is who pays for them, what they get in return, and how that affects public policy and spending priorities. Common Cause in Connecticut is working diligently to expose the role of special interests and promote reforms that put democracy back in the hands of "we the people."
Although public financing for state elections has mitigated the problem in Connecticut, big money has long dominated our elections. In 2010, despite efforts in Connecticut toward fairness and transparency in elections, the problem became magnified. The Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on our elections. In campaign 2012, "independent" groups spent about $1 billion, much of it from anonymous individuals and corporations. Candidates backed by big money donors lost some high-profile elections, but nevertheless the next Congress will be more beholden than the current crop of lawmakers to special interests. Directly after the Citizens' United decision, Connecticut passed a strong and comprehensive disclosure requirement to shed light on who is spending the money influencing our elections. Common Cause in Connecticut is dedicated to protecting and increasing these disclosure requirements.