Like we've seen with the meltdown of the financial sector, a lack of regulation leads to problems. Too often, deregulation and lack of oversight are lobbied by the industries forking over big bucks in campaign contributions to make sure they get what they want. In a column from Iowa this weekend, an advocate for senior citizens looks at the nursing home industry in the same light.
John Tapscott, a former legislator and senior advocate says the nursing home industry's big donations in Iowa keep reform and regulation by the legislature out of reach. "There is little doubt that large campaign contributions and all-expense-paid trips for legislators give nursing-home industry lobbyists the collective power to open almost any door."
According to the Institute on Money in State Politics, the hospital and nursing home industry donated nearly $300,000 to candidates running for statewide and legislative seats in Iowa in 2006. In 2008, that total is at least $200,000 with reports still coming in.
"There is a fine line between campaign contributions and bribes, but it is quite clear that those who bankroll political campaigns call many of the shots," he says in the piece.
Clean Elections, he suggests, is the way to "reclaim ownership of election campaigns."
To learn more about Iowa's plan to pass Clean Elections, visit www.voterownediowa.org.