Rep. Kelda Roys: Campaign finance reform needed to reclaim our airwaves
Kelda Roys, The Cap Times -
If the political ads blanketing the airwaves make you feel like tossing your television out the window, blame our broken campaign finance system. Gov. Scott Walker’s shocking $13 million fundraising period was only possible because of a gaping loophole in Wisconsin law that allows incumbents facing recall to ignore campaign contribution limits. The vast majority of Walker’s millions came in big checks from super-wealthy out-of-state donors and corporate special interests. These unlimited cash grabs are undermining our democracy.
Last October, I authored legislation to close this unlimited fundraising loophole. My proposal was simple: Campaign finance limits should apply to everyone. Unfortunately, in our divided Legislature, this commonsense proposal never even received a public hearing. Now Wisconsinites are treated to a barrage of negative TV ads funded by Texas fat cats.
What are those powerful interests buying when they spend such huge sums to influence our elections? Too often, that money causes politicians in both parties to prioritize corporate interests over the public interest. The Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United decision has exacerbated the problem by declaring that corporations may effectively buy political representation through unlimited electoral spending from their general treasuries.