Making Democracy Work

Money in Politics

The following are links to information about money in politics:


Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 7 pm to 9 pm Kent Free Library Consensus Meeting

Click here for PowerPoint presentation.

The League of Women Voters has been an active participant in campaign finance reform for more than 40 years. The current, largely unchecked flow of secret and unlimited amount of money into politics undermines self-government and the confidence of the American people in their democracy. The Kent League has joined with Leagues from across the nation to participate in reviewing and updating the current League position on campaign finance reform, which is that methods of financing should do the following:

    Ensure the public's right to know
    Combat corruption and undue influence
    Enable candidates to compete equitably
    Allow maximum citizen participation in the political process

Our MIP study committee--Rosemerry Rudesal and Sherry Rose--created a very complete and understandable presentation at an earlier meeting. Click HERE to read the presentation for the first time or review it for the Jan 13th consensus meeting. The presentation included some history of money in politics, recent Supreme Court decisions including the Citizens United ruling, recent figures on campaign spending and possible solutions.

What is a League Consensus?

It is easier to say what consensus is not, than what it is. Consensus is not a vote; rather, consensus is mutual agreement of League members arrived at through discussion. During discussion, everyone has an opportunity to express their viewpoints, and the issue is examined from all sides. Consensus questions, created by the study committee and approved by the Board, provide structure for the meeting. Members discuss the pros and cons until it becomes apparent that consensus has or has not been reached on each question. The results are sent to the national LWV which will analyze the consensus responses from Leagues across the country, look for areas of member understanding and agreement and, using this information, will create a position statement that updates the current one.

The links below will be helpful in preparing for the meeting:

League of Women Voters Study Guide to Money in Politics

A primer on money in politics

MIP consensus questions and background papers

NYTimes investigations to SuperPacs

NPR story on dark money and how it works its way through the system There is a link to the first part of the story on this second part.

An example of FEC gridlock Article The FEC doesn't decide about SuperPAC coordination. They give in and let candidates meet with SuperPAC donors, even while they are "not" coordinating.

The Sunlight Foundation: A non-partisan, non-profit organization that uses technology to make the government more transparent

The Hill A top political website covering government and current events

Public Integrity: One of the oldest non-partisan, non-profit investigative news organizations in the US Article

A concise but detailed account of the problem of money in US politics by Trevor Potter, the founding President and General Counsel for the Campaign legal Center; a former member and chairperson of the Federal Election Commission, and general counsel to John McCain's 2008 and 2000 presidential campaigns

New York Times interactive website that tracks campaign money for the 2016 US presidential race

Good links for general information: