The height of the 2014 midterm election season is nearly upon us, generating unheard of sums of political spending, often coming from “dark money” sources that do not have to disclose their donors. In addition, there is a risk of five-, six- or even seven-figure hard money contributions flowing to the political parties and party leadership. In competitive Senate races, it’s nearly impossible to track who’s giving to whom in real time since Senate candidates still file their campaign finance reports on paper, delaying disclosure. Meanwhile, reports of a steady decrease in lobbying points not to a reduction in K Street’s power, but rather to more and more influence peddlers going underground.
On Sept. 16, the Sunlight Foundation and ReThink Media will host a special morning conversation with Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., followed by a panel of money-in-politics experts from nonprofits, newsrooms and academia. We will discuss the quickly changing landscape of political spending, how it’s getting harder to track influence and the reforms being debated right now in Congress to level the playing field.
The price we pay for the current campaign finance system is high: A dearth of accountability from our elected officials; domination of political speech by a limited number of the super wealthy; and increased voter apathy are just a few symptoms. Join this important discussion by RSVP’ing today. Space is limited, sign up soon!