Letter to the Editor: Money in Politics

Dear Editor,

Contrary to popular belief, it is not the American people that have the greatest say in the political sphere. In reality, special interest groups with vast sums of money have a variety of ways to give their candidate or policy the edge to win. These interest groups can use their money in two different ways, donating money to PACs (Political Action Committees) or super PACs, as well as directly giving money to lobbyists. The point of a PAC is to raise money for a political candidate’s campaign. The funds are used for many things, such as television ads. PACs can receive up to $5000 in donations in a given year, while super PACs can accept unlimited funding. If a candidate has extra funds remaining by the end of their campaign, there are restrictions on how they can spend it. After operating costs are covered, they cannot pocket the extra cash, but what they can do is spend money on another candidate’s campaign. This practice benefits incumbents with established influence and may be against the original wishes of the donors. Lobbyists are paid to contact candidates directly and convince them to make one decision or another. This system lessens the candidate’s autonomy, and ensures they are constantly being persuaded by those with the deepest pockets. Why should the founders of corporations be able to use lobbyists as investments, by paying their way to getting legislation they want passed? Politics that can be influence by money creates an innately unfair system, as no society in the world has been able to solve the problem of wealth inequality. These practices must be abolished if fair representation is desired.

  - Henri Serkosky