One of the reasons Moyers & Company frequently returns to the theme of money and politics is because it’s absolutely necessary to do so. Nothing corrupts our political system more than the ability of the rich and influential to spend limitless amounts of money -- often in secret -- with the intention of creating preferred political outcomes. And far from being a regulator of campaign finances, our political funding laws -- aided by a corporate-friendly Supreme Court and self-interested politicians -- only facilitate the process of empowering the few while subjugating the many.
Few understand the ways money moves in and out of our political system than campaign finance reform advocate Trevor Potter. A former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and founding president of the Campaign Legal Center, Potter was Stephen Colbert’s chief advisor when Colbert formed his own super PAC and 501 (c)(4) in a clever effort to expose the potential for chicanery behind each.
Bill and Potter discuss how American elections are bought and sold, who covers the cost, and how the rest of us pay the price.
Also on the show, a Bill Moyers Essay on the bags of money that campaigns drop on consultants and TV ads to affect and distort your point of view.
The conventions are over -- Now it’s time for some thinking outside the box. This week on Moyers & Company, Bill talks with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who’s been an independent on Congress longer than anyone in American history; and Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cherie Honkala about their role in -- and what they’ve learned about -- American politics.
In 2010, Sanders made national news when he delivered an eight-and-a-half-hour speech attacking the agreement President Obama and the Republicans had made to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Stein graduated from Harvard Medical School to become an internist specializing in environmental health. Her running mate, Honkala, is a formerly homeless single mother who co-founded the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.
Because of partisan gridlock in Washington, the Supreme Court has become the most powerful and outspoken branch of government – decisions they make shape our democracy’s fate for generations to come. Now, one has only to look at Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, and the Affordable Care Act rulings to understand why some call it a “one-percent Court” -- dedicated by majority rule to preserving the power and influence of a minority of wealthy special interests.
This week on Moyers & Company, The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel and Jamie Raskin, constitutional law professor and Maryland state senator, join Bill to discuss how the uncontested power of the Supreme Court is changing our elections, our country, and our lives. The two joined forces for a special upcoming issue of The Nation entitled “The One Percent Court.”
Also on the program, Bill talks with Craig Unger, author of Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power, about Rove’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering and collaborations to once again affect the outcome of a presidential election.