Public Comment

New: Money is Buying People's Power

By Romila Khanna
Saturday April 12, 2014 - 10:31:00 AM

More than 200 years after our founding we are still unable to provide poor citizens full rights of participation in our democracy. The voices of rich are heard much more often than the voices of the poor. The rich can fund campaigns with unlimited contributions; the poor cannot possibly match that kind of money to buy TV ads in support of a candidate who knows how life feels at the bottom of the ladder. Because money holds the microphone, the ordinary voices of millions of people are drowned out. Today billionaires can buy the votes they need to support laws that favor them. 

Is there any way to rewind the democratic clock? Is it still possible give voice to the needs of the lower middle class and the poor? The democratic structure of the government falls apart when the poor third of the population is excluded from the political process. 

I heard Chief Justice Roberts announce that donors can give any amount of money to the candidate of their choice. Is there a way we ordinary people can unite to fight against the unbalanced influence of money in our democracy?