Patt Morrison for March 26, 2012

Super PAC plutocracy: can rich dudes buy an election?

Audubon's Birds of America Is Auctioned At Christie's

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Man places bid at Christie's Auction House on January 20, 2012 in New York City.

As the Republican presidential primary race continues, campaign financing by way of Super PACs is increasingly becoming a hot issue among donors and critics alike.

This new form of political funding that allows organizations to raise exceptionally large sums of money on behalf of a political candidate running for public office is said to be reshaping the modern election cycle. With some individual donors giving tens of millions of dollars, some experts estimate that, per capita, the top one percent wealthiest Americans have contributed ten times more to campaigns than the remaining ninety-nine percent of Americans.

While affluent donors continue their generosity, protestors are blaming the trend for rocking the balance of political influence between wealthy special interest groups and the average American and ultimately corrupting the democratic election process. These critics are calling on local governments and the U.S. government to outlaw Super PACs.

WEIGH IN:

Does one person’s vote mean as much when compared to the influence of a $15 million contribution? How are Super PACs changing politics in America?

Guest:

John Dunbar, managing editor for politics, Center for Public Integrity

Lawrence Lessig, director, Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University; Law professor, Harvard Law School; author, “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress -- and a Plan to Stop It”


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