Former FEC Chair and Issue One Adviser Trevor Potter makes a lot of great points in this Politico op-ed about the current tragic state of our campaign finance system, calling out everyone from the FEC to the Supreme Court to the IRS.
The whole piece is definitely worth a read, but the most interesting couple of paragraphs call out the Republican candidates for being tone-deaf to the views of their constituents on the issue of money in politics. Potter speculates that this might even be why Republicans are seeing diminishing returns on their big ticket donation strategy. He writes:
This silence by GOP leaders is a risky calculation that is empowering populist candidates like Donald Trump, who charges that other candidates are “puppets” of big donors. The Republican Party has historically viewed its ability to raise big-dollar contributions as a strategic advantage, and now the party is doubling down on this perceived strength in the hope of realizing victories in 2016. However, the short-term fundraising boost is not worth the disengagement this generates in the party’s political base (and which is fueling the Trump phenomenon). This voter disillusionment may be one reason the more than $100 million Jeb Bush’s super PAC has raised so far hasn’t given him a boost in the polls. It’s time for Republicans to make policy choices that reflect their constituents’ anger with the status quo.
Despite the so-called conventional wisdom of Beltway pundits, it’s looking more and more like money in politics IS something voters will be thinking about at the polls come next November.