On the deadline day for quarterly presidential fundraising, Bernie Sanders ripped presidential candidates in both parties while calling for the overturning of Citizens United.
In a statement, Sanders said:
It is a national disgrace that billionaires and other extremely wealthy people are able to heavily influence the political process by making huge contributions. The Koch brothers alone will spend more than the Democratic and Republican parties to influence the outcome of next year’s elections. That’s not democracy, that’s oligarchy’
Elections should be determined by who has the best ideas, not who can hustle the most money from the rich and powerful. Unless we end this disastrous campaign finance system, our government will continue to represent the interests of the few at the expense of the many.
Bernie Sanders has raised more money from individuals than all of the Republican presidential candidates, but the truth is that the $8.3 million he has raised will be dwarfed by what the super PACs pull in. The odds are that few people reading this article will have donated to a super PAC, which is the entire problem with Citizens United.
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision created a funding mechanism that has allowed billionaires and special interests to hijack the electoral process. Democrats are opposed to Citizens United, but they have to play along on this landscape or they will have no hope of ever being able to overturn the law.
Sanders is correct. What is happening to our electoral system is a national disgrace. The dysfunction in Congress was largely created by the fact that incumbents represent the interests of their big donors instead of their constituents. Parties have little control over their members because incumbents don’t need the party to win. All a candidate needs is a billionaire who is willing to write the checks.
The campaign finance system is a national embarrassment, and Bernie Sanders is fighting a David versus Goliath battle to wake voters up to the peril that their country is facing.