An issue I often get asked about is getting money out of politics. One major issue (if not the biggest issue) our country faces is people and corporations spending huge amounts of money in our political system. It is a huge problem!
When candidates are accepting money from big corporations, special interests, or even out of state it brings into question of who these candidates are really supporting; the people or special interests.
There are a couple of resources available to help people find this information:
- Campaign Finance for Maryland – the Maryland campaign finance database
- OpenSecrets.org – a group tracking money in U.S. politics
- MegaVote – a resource which emails you on how your current Congressional representatives are voting
- Greenhouse – a browser extension which highlights congress’ names and tells you information about where they get their money (this app was created by a 16 year old!)
I urge everyone to take a look at your current representatives and find out where they’re getting their money.
This information may not be easy to read and most people never look it up or find out about it.
There might be a better way to deal with money in our political system though. In Montgomery county, we have passed and implemented a public financing option for county offices. Candidates participating in public financing cannot accept money from PACs or Corporations. While they can still get out of state money, all money is limited to $150 dollars per person. It seems to be a good system so far since corporations and other special interests will not be able to spend massive amounts on our county elections. This will help make sure our representatives represent us.
Public financing is something we can do at the state level for candidates for our state representatives. I would support that legislation.