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We Need Small Donors to Halt the March to Plutocracy


We Need Small Donors to Halt the March to Plutocracy

Kenneth Pennington

Aides to Donald Trump suggested this week that the presidential candidate might self-fund an end-of-campaign advertising blitz to counter Hillary Clinton’s rise in the polls. His contributions should give us serious pause. Is this how we want our republic to function? Do we want to live in a country where candidates can rise or fall based on their pocketbooks or the financial backing of their rich friends?


We do need small donors, but more importantly we need enforceable and enforced laws regulating how much any individual can contribute for the purpose of swaying an election.
Should Adelson be allowed to contribute $100 million dollars?
Or the Koch’s $250 million dollars?
You need one hell of a lot of small donors to get to $250 million dollars.
That’s all that Bernie could raise from his small donors to run his entire campaign.
It’s the large donors that we need to focus on. Their power must be reduced.
Do that and small donors will actually matter.


Yes this is indeed a good time to be making donations to the Green Party.


The only campaign finance law that will ever work for the 99% is to eliminate all private money from politics and go to public financing of campaigns where the playing field is level.

The only losers will be the 1% and the media, escpecially daily newspapers that derive a significant percent of their revenue from campaign advertising.


Your suggestion is a good one and could be implemented by taking just $2 billion dollars from the military budget to make it happen.
Cheap enough by any measure.


People in the streets are the best substitute for a general election.
Daily if necessary.


There is a significant issue that this article fails to address. Bernie raised big dollars because all (or most) of the contributions were going to one source that we believed could make a difference in our lives. Now we are being asked, by multiple parties, to steer those donations toward them, even knowing that those donations will ineffectual at producing real change.

I can’t be the only one that has already maxed out on what I have available to contribute. I don’t have any more dollars to throw down the proverbial drain. All I can do at this point is support (to a small degree) the Standing Rock Sioux - where I know my dollars will make a difference to the people who are out there standing up for all of us. I agree with Imhotep. We need structural change to campaign finance or the system will never be ‘democratic’.

That change can be limits on contributions or total public financing. To expect small donations to make big differences is unrealistic. There are very many worthy causes out there - small donations will be seriously diluted in the absence of a major, credible place for those dollars to go.

Stein/Baraka get my vote. There are no more dollars.


In a non election year I get a dozen email solicitations each day seeking my dough for worthy causes. Double that during an election year, although six or seven of those are unworthy.


Your article misses a larger point: Anyone who can meet the criteria for the office should be allowed and encouraged to run on the strength of their ideas. They should only have to get signatures. People like myself who are able to pay $27 many times over should not finance elections. Ever. I may be smarter than some and not so much as others but my vote and my voice should never come down to a matter of how much disposable money I have. Or how much I can throw at people to do my bidding. And to address Hiilary’s point about never having changed a vote because she’s been bought: money I can put behind folks whom I know think the same way and who will vote in my interest is the same thing as being bought.


“Stein/Baraka get my vote. There are no more dollars”

Indeed - Sanders achieved what he set out to do - suck up a great deal of prog time, energy, and money - for the DP… think what Stein could have done with all that money …

But as the piece says - in the process he demonstrated what can be done by the “little people” if they decide to. and that is a good thing to know …


Small donors don’t have the staying power of oligarchs with bottomless pockets. The people cannot outspend the oligarchy consistently, per design. We need a new system that circumvents politicians and their oligarchy masters.

Direct Democracy