Campaign Disclosure Shows America’s Next President Will Owe Much to a Few

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  • Dale Eisman

The election is still more than nine months away, but it’s already clear that America’s next president will take office deeply in debt to a relative handful of wealthy Americans and special interest donors, Common Cause said today.

“We don’t know who will win in November, but the latest round of campaign finance reports shows ‘we the people’ are already running far behind ‘we the 1 percent,'” said Bob Edgar, president and CEO of the non-profit government watchdog group. “The huge sums flowing into the presidential race from a few, deep-pocketed donors will give us a President and Congress more beholden than ever to big corporations and individuals already at the top of the economic ladder, and with little incentive to watch out for the rest of us.

“Every investor, and particularly those willing to make six- and seven-figure donations, expects a return on his or her money,” Edgar said. “And experience should tell us that those who owe their offices to big money investors will provide it.

The Supreme Court said in Citizens United that our elected officials can’t be corrupted by donors with whom they’re unconnected, and so we have nothing to fear from unlimited political spending by independent groups, Edgar said. “But does anyone seriously believe that a President can be truly independent of people who’ve spent tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars to promote him or tear down his adversaries? We’ve had some admirable, even heroic Presidents, but none with that kind of super-power.”

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