Money in Politics

We all know about the influence of money in politics. This study used a novel approach to look at this influence. Using plagiarism software, it found that lobbyist's *exact language* ended up in legislation. And the effect was compounded depending on donations to candidates and legislators.

When I was in medical school, I remember learning about the influence of pharmaceutical representative's gifts to doctors, and how those gifts influenced prescribing patterns. A gift as small as a pen led to more prescriptions for the drug.

Now imagine that we are talking about the influence of money on our government officials. Imagine PAC money and high dollar donor money as it flows to candidates and legislators. How do the interests of average Americans get heard and acted upon when our government is constantly flooded with this type of influence?

As a candidate, there has been relentless pressure to raise money. Many endorsing groups will not endorse candidates who have not raised a certain dollar amount. The first question that reporters and the political class ask is "how much money have you raised?". For some, this is the ONLY parameter used to judge a candidate for office.

I have and will continue to accept donations only from grassroots efforts. I have never accepted PAC money. I have never courted high dollar donors. I have never held high dollar fundraisers.

We have a choice. We can continue to support a system that values money over people, or we can push back and insist that our candidates and our legislators listen to US and not to moneyed interests.