The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a pair of decisions affirming campaign finance disclosure provisions in Maine and Rhode Island. I let out a sigh of relief when I read them.
One grievance of the protesters targeting Wall Street is that financial elites wield way too much power in our democracy. That complaint is hardly new, but the latest figures on money in politics tells a truly troubling story about the vast resources that Wall Street has put into shaping both the legislative process and elections.
Occupy Wall Street has already accomplished a great deal by shifting public discourse in this country. Instead of focusing on the need for austerity and deficit reduction, attention is rightly being directed at economic disparities and the deep structural problems that the United States faces.
TheWall Street Journal ran a disingenuous and misleading opinion piece on Sunday evening titled "The Corporate Disclosure Assault," arguing that “[u]nions and liberal activists are using proxy rules to attack business political speech.” The piece—exactly like the undisclosed corporate money it’s pandering to—doesn’t even have an author listed.
Candidate campaigns and outside spending groups have nearly a third more influence over narratives around presidential candidates' characters than they did just 12 years ago. Journalist influence has shrunk by nearly half.