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Small Donors Have Made Democracy Worse

Small Donors Have Made Democracy Worse

David Byler: “Small-dollar donors were supposed to save democracy. Reformers had hoped that grass-roots political fundraising — connected by the internet and united against corruption — would become a formidable force to counter the money that wealthy individuals funnel to candidates.”

“Only half of that would become true. Small-dollar donors are indeed powerful today — but they have made politics worse, not better.”

“This has manifested in different ways depending on the party. For Republicans, small-dollar donors have bankrolled bomb-throwers who treat Congress like the Thunderdome. For Democrats, they have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on ridiculous, fantasy-driven campaigns. And even when they flood a race with cash, they do little to lessen the influence of big donors.”

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