Should Money Be Able to Purchase Political Office?

Our Illinois gubernatorial race is turning into a money fest. In the last election, Bruce Rauner, the current nincompoop, spent approximately $65.3M on his race.  And it has just been announced that Ken Griffin, the Citadel hedge fund CEO, has just given Rauner's campaign fund $20M.

Now, it looks like the Democrats are going to anoint J.B. Pritzker of the Hyatt Hotel family to run against Rauner.  As of April 15th, Pritzker  contributed $7M to his  campaign fund.  He is already spending thousands of dollars in TV commercials to match those of Rauner.

I know, as a lawyer, that we cannot stop this practice.  After all, campaign spending would be considered free speech.  But the consequences of this are downright catastrophic.

People with talent who could solve our government's problems are shunted aside for wealth and privilege.  Why even bother to contribute your talents to the governmental system when you are not respected unless you are super wealthy?

What it comes to is that the American people have not figured out yet that being wealthy does not necessarily make one smart.  As a corporate lawyer for fifty plus years, I have been around some very wealthy business people.  These people are super aggressive and  driven toward their money-making goals.  Some of them are also not restrained by such thoughts as "is this ethical?" or "am I hurting people?" when they engage in some questionable enterprise.  I personally could never have operated an organization like Trump University.  Mr. Trump apparently had no such qualms.

We need a real overhaul of our federal and state election systems so that people of modest means have the ability and chance to serve the political system.

Otherwise, our society is truly doomed.

 

 

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  • Amen! And on a local level, money bought the recent Evanston mayoral election. The winning candidate spent approx. $ 240,000. (most of it his own money) to the challenger's $ 60,000. The winning candidate won by 111 votes out of more than 17,000 votes cast.

  • As long as the Supreme Court hands down decisions like Citizens United, money will continue to be the "mother's milk of politics".

  • Hello, I am Andrew from CodePurpleGold and I enjoyed your article very much. I also think that politics is just a game of money at this point and whoever has the most will most likely win. These days, exposure and publicity is critical to winning a spot in a political office, and money supplies this.

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