I spend a fair amount of time in my forthcoming book discussing the dangers that exist for democracy when unlimited money is involved in politics. Corporations have interests that don't reflect the interests of citizens, and the vast sums of money that they can contribute to politics following the disastrous Citizens United decision has had a major impact on shaping public opinion and thereby influencing in an outsized way, elections themselves.
It turns out that the 2012 battle to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is the perfect illustration of just how awful the enterprise can get. From corporate titans to fundraisers to judges at the highest state level, cash flowed where it was needed in princely sums and an investigation into the practices was deemed (by individuals with potential conflicts of interest) too sensitive for the public to even be made aware of the involved parties.
Yesterday, the Guardian newspaper released an excellent interactive piece detailing all of the details. A leak of the sealed documents in the "John Doe" investigation has revealed the depths of how money corrupts the political system. In reading the article, each shocking detail becomes less shocking after one moves on to the next shocking detail. As a whole, it's unnerving and should inspire outrage. But so far, it hasn't seemed to be given much notice when compared with soundbites about
We cannot expect our democracy to survive if this system continues unchanged.
Click below to see the Guardian's excellent reporting. Then go get involved. Our democracy depends on it.