Email date: 6/16/10
In this update:
1. Legislators get two-thirds of money from outsiders
2. Helping those who don’t need any help
Legislators get two-thirds of money from outsiders
It's hard not to notice how lawmakers regularly put the demands of wealthy interests ahead of the needs of the general public, and a great many people have gnawing doubts about whether their elected representatives are actually representing them. A report issued this morning by the Democracy Campaign provides insight into why people are feeling this way.
Wisconsin legislators get roughly $2 of every $3 they raise for their election campaigns from people who cannot vote for them because they live outside their districts.
For audio commentary on the findings, go here.
Helping those who don’t need any help
Well-to-do outsiders already are doing most of the talking in elections, but that didn't stop the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Election Commission from offering them a helping hand this past week. The nation’s highest court stepped into an ongoing election in Arizona and blocked the state from distributing public matching funds to candidates who forego big-money private fundraising. To read some editorial reaction to this, go here and here.
Meanwhile, the FEC is treating the corporate advocacy group Citizens United as a media organization and gave the Republican Party surrogate a “press exemption” from federal disclosure requirements. For more on that, go here and here.