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Ending The K Street Money Machine with Dan McMillan

Today, The Two Mikes spoke with Dan McMillan who is the Executive Director of Save Democracy in America ( He holds doctoral degrees in law and history. Dr. Mcmillan argues that the biggest problem Americans' face today is the amount of money in the political system, claiming that "campaign finance is a far bigger problem than almost anyone seems to think." That the system is awash with money is obvious, but the disastrous downside of that flood is less apparent. Once elected, members of both houses of Congress are effectively the employees of their donors and not of the citizens who pay their salaries, which can be easily seen by them as paltry when compared to their donations. As a result, the elected politicians make little effort to articulate their constituents’ desires and preferences, and, instead, self-censor to make sure that donors are not offended by what they speak about and then take a pass in the next election. This system of elections endlessly fails to address the issues that the citizenry wants addressed, Dr. McMillian says, might well be supplanted if there was only public funding for candidates by a system that saw every valid voter in the country being provided before each federal election with a certain amount to money via an electronic transfer from the national government. The transfer would take place in an electronic system in which the voter receiving the funds could not use the money for his own use, but could only redirect it to the validated candidate of his or her choice. There are, of course, a goodly number of hoops to jump through to get to such a result, not the least of which are practical -- why would candidates give up the status quo which rakes in much more money and allows the candidate to keep whatever is leftover after the election -- and constitutional, as the Supreme Court has found that the current campaign funding regime accords with the Constitution. Dr. McMillan presents quite an interesting proposal and its worth considering, as is any idea that would contribute to wiping away the current ocean of election corruption. Music Credits: Olafur ArnaldsSponsors



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