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Influence of Money in U.S Politics

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Influence of Money in U.S Politics

Adrian Armijo

Walsh University

Table of Contents

Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………..      3      

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………      4    

Literature Review………………………………………………………………………………     5

Hypothesis…………………………………………………………………………………          10

Methodology……………………………………………………………………………              10

Analysis………………………………………………………………………………………      11

Results and conclusions………………………………………………………………………     12

Limitations……………………………………………………………………………………     13

Recommendations for future research…………………………………………………………   13

References……………………………………………………………………………………… 15

Abstract

This exploratory research paper will examine the influence of money in the U.S political system and how it presents as a top concern for U.S citizens. This study will examine several explanations as to why money plays an important role in politics, along with its advantages and disadvantages. This paper also discusses the various methods in which corporations, organizations, and individuals attempt to influence specific legislations. In addition, this paper will examine the campaign finance reform and will primarily focus in the Citizen United v Federal Election Commission. This commission is in fact a U.S constitutional law that is in charge of the regulation of campaign expenditure by entities held that the First Amendment banned the government from limiting independent political expenses by nonprofit organizations. Furthermore, the doctrines enunciated by the Supreme Court have been prolonged to for-profit organizations, corporations, labor unions and individual entities.

        

Introduction

        Today, political experts, economic intellectuals, and citizens are more than suspicious towards the shady political contributions from powerful elites to gain influence on policymaking. However, recent studies have shown that these prosperous individuals and organizations do not have the capability to just buy votes in the national legislative body of the U.S, which goes by the name of Congress. This has steered many scholars and individuals to claim that the impact of money on U.S politics is either under estimated or not. The conclusions from these debates have predominantly observed at the effects of campaign donations on Congressional roll call voting. The study is systematically refined, and there are few explanations to distrust these pragmatic discoveries. Nevertheless merely focusing at roll call votes, misses a lot of other explanations behind the shady and long-salting relationship between the elite class and political figures, and most of all, it misses the entire sequence of inquiries from the vast groups of worried U.S citizens.

        When citizens, businesses, organizations or other particular entities want to infuse their political ideas and needs into the law-making process, they use a method known as lobbying. To put it briefly, lobbying is a legal act that tries to gain control of a specific legislation through money negotiations. However, this method can only be applied to those only involved in the judicial process, such as public officials. There are many citizens who are very concerned with this specific practice because they believe it unfairly alters political decisions in favor of the rich. There are lobbyists who try to change laws for the benefit of a community, however, the majority of lobbyists try to alter political decisions for their own benefit or for the benefit of their business (Trembay, 2012).

Literature of Review

        Rodrigue Tremblay’s article “The corrupt influence of money in the American Political System” begins with an analysis of the new electoral financing rule decreed by a majority of one by the Roberts Supreme Court on January 21, 2010. The author states that under this Supreme Court rule, it is legal for any individual, business, or entity to spend an unlimited amount of money to influence presidential elections and members of U.S Congress. Tremblay believes that this an unethical approach towards politics and a form of “legalized corruption.” The author also indicates that this rule will soon be removed, but after it has created major damage to the U.S political system (Trembay, 2012).

         By focusing on one of Michelle Obama’s speeches in 2014, Mark Schmitt highlights the influence of money on U.S politics in her article “What if you had as much political influence as a billionaire?”. In 2014, Michelle Obama advised an audience that when trying to influence politics, there is only one thing to do: “Write a big, fat check.” The author does not criticize her for the previous statement, but he mentions that the vast majority of U.S citizens do not have the income to write a two-digit check. Then, the author focuses on how the U.S elite class has the power and money to influence and corrupt the U.S political system. Schmitt finishes his article by explaining the main reasons as to why billionaires and politicians in the U.S create and preserve long and stable relationships with government officials (Schmitt, 2015).    

        Alex DeMots’ article “Addressing the Influence of Money in Politics Through Executive Action” gives an overview of the influence of numerous and big money contributions in U.S political campaigns. DeMots specifies that the midterm elections of 2014 were the most expensive in history, with more than 3.6 billion dollars in spending. The author states that a big chunk of this stratospheric amount of money came from “dark money” groups. He refers to these anonymous groups as independent organizations that have a lot of economic power. Consequently, since these independent organizations are accountable of the majority of the political contributions, DeMots claims that this leaves the U.S political system in charge of a small subset of powerful citizens (DeMots, 2015).

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