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Making Democracy Work: Money in Politics

Posted: September 28, 2017 at 5:46 pm by , in Breaking News, Featured, Morning Magazine

“So the public is in the dark, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent, you should know who are the big money sources trying to put a certain person in office, or oppose their opponent so their favored candidate wins.”

The League of Women Voters of Colorado recently held their annual state wide conference which hosted a variety of speakers on topics from money in politics to better voting methods.

Lisa Graves, Executive Director at the Center for Media and Democracy said that we’re seeing dark money influence elections here in Colorado.

“In Colorado we’re seeing a lot of activity by groups running what they call “issue ads” but they’re running them right around the election, and they identify the candidates, but they don’t say the so-called magic words “vote for or against” a candidate. So they have been escaping regulation by the state and by the local communities.  And so what you have is in some instances, where the candidates themselves are outspent by these outside groups that don’t disclose who their donors are. So in Colorado in fact one of the things that has happened here annually at least, is that the Koch brothers, the billionaires from Kansas and New York, that owns one of the biggest corporations in the world, an energy corporation, have been having a retreat in Colorado every year. And at that retreat they invite other billionaires to secretly give them money to spend money in our elections. So in the 2016 election they had pledged to spend nearly $800 million to influence elections across the country and they most recently pledged to spend at least another $200 or $300 million leading into the 2018 elections. But what’s interesting is that while the Koch brothers know who those billionaires are, and most people don’t, candidates go and kiss the rings of those billionaires metaphorically. They go to those Koch donor retreats. So they know who is basically going to be bank rolling their elections, but we don’t. So the public is in the dark, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent, you should know who are the big money sources trying to put a certain person in office, or oppose their opponent so their favored candidate wins.”