Last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said there should be no limits on what individuals can donate to candidates for office--something that would hand our elections wholly over to a elite set of wealthy donors.
Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly responded to Christie with an oped in New Jersey's Star-Ledger on Friday:
"Six months into his stint as head of the Republican Governors Association, a group that isn’t bound by contribution limits, and just weeks after his trip to Las Vegas, it’s easy to understand why.
"In the first three months of 2014, the RGA raised $22 million, with nearly two dozen donations from individuals and corporations in amounts of $250,000 or more, according to an analysis by Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., newspaper covering government. Chicago hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, who once said the wealthy have "insufficient influence" in politics, gave $250,000 after Christie headlined a fundraiser at his home. Donald Trump, Wal-Mart, and oil tycoon Trevor Rees-Jones matched that amount.
"In March, Christie joined several possible 2016 presidential candidates for what former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer called "the Sheldon Primary," a meeting to try to impress billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson at his luxury Venetian hotel. Adelson reportedly poured nearly $100 million into the 2012 campaigns in an effort to defeat President Obama and others.
"More simply: Christie’s position is one of convenience. It’s easier and quicker to get big checks from a few billionaires than to build a broad, national, grassroots base of more modest donors. This sort of system might mean politicians like Christie can spend less time raising money, but it makes them more indebted to a wealthy elite."
Donnelly goes on to write that instead we should support participatory approaches to campaign finance reform like the Government By the People Act. Read the whole piece!