The Great Debate

Tycoon dough: The ultimate electoral martial art

By Lawrence Norden and Daniel Weiner
January 16, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, May 20, 2009. REUTERS/Molly Riley

This is first article in the Reuters series on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, handed down Jan. 21, 2010. After five years, is anything the same in U.S. elections? You can read other pieces in the series here.

Democracy is drowning in a sea of dark money

By Fred Wertheimer
January 16, 2015
Voters fill in their ballots as they vote in the U.S. midterm elections at a polling place in Westminster, Colorado

Voters fill in their ballots in the midterm elections at a polling place in Westminster, Colorado, November 4, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

from Jim Gaines:

A constitutional amendment to take Big Money out of politics dies quietly

September 12, 2014


This week the U.S. Senate considered a constitutional amendment that would have allowed Congress and state legislatures to limit the power of money in politics. The debate was not much covered in the media because the outcome was so predictable. But the party-line vote that killed it should not go unnoted.

from Breakingviews:

James Hoffa: Let sun shine on corporate donations

By Guest Contributor
May 29, 2014

By James Hoffa
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews guest columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Roberts Court: Easier to donate, harder to vote

By Elizabeth B. Wydra
April 4, 2014

Chief Justice John Roberts’ first sentence of his majority opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission, striking down important limits on campaign contributions, declares “There is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.”

McCutcheon: Should the rich speak louder?

By Jeffrey Rosen
April 3, 2014

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed down its most important decision on campaign finance reform since Citizens United. The decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, seemed to divide along familiar ideological lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority opinion for five conservatives and Justice Stephen Breyer, writing the dissent for the four liberals.

Making every voter equal

By Jonathan Soros
February 26, 2014

The venture capitalist Tom Perkins recently suggested that he should have a greater voice than others in selecting our government because he’s rich. “You pay a million dollars in taxes,” he told the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, “you get a million votes. How’s that?”

What’s behind JPMorgan’s push for worker training?

January 8, 2014

Just a few weeks before federal prosecutors announced a nearly $2 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase over Bernie Madoff’s fraudulent accounts, chairman and chief executive officer Jamie Dimon sat alongside former Congressman and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at an Aspen Institute forum in the biology lab of Malcolm X College to tout the embattled bank’s five-year, $250 million, multi-city investment in job training. The bank would commit $15 million for “workplace readiness and demand-driven training” in Chicago.

The Supreme Court ‘s Gilded Age redux

By Richard White
August 14, 2013

The Supreme Court belongs to the small club whose members seem to assume that saying something makes it so. It deals in precedents — not the same thing as dealing in history. It prefers obiter dicta to the messiness of the past.

Why doesn’t Mitt Romney contribute to his own campaign?

By Michael Waldman
September 25, 2012

Lately, Mitt Romney has been so consumed with fundraising that his aides have had to defend his absence from the stump. Like his foe, the Republican nominee is in the midst of a frenzied financial arms race. But one hugely wealthy individual has not yet been persuaded to part with much cash to support the Republican cause: Mitt Romney himself.