GOP wants to flood politics with dark money using hidden “policy riders”

Campaign finance reform was once a bipartisan issue. With Koch money flooding into the GOP, those days are gone

The rising tide of political spending that has swamped Washington in the wake of Citizens United and other controversial Supreme Court rulings may have lifted Republican fortunes across the country and in Washington, but apparently it isn’t enough. Now they are coming back for more.

Congressional Republicans are expected to hide five “policy riders” in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill due for a vote this month that would let churches and charities pour their coffers into partisan pockets, allow parties to spend unlimited funds on ads coordinated with candidates, and make sure the rest of us can’t see what’s going on.

These back-door attempts to eliminate longstanding limits on political spending and prevent any meaningful public disclosure are just the latest signs that Republican politicians have lost their moral compass. Today’s GOP has come to worship at the altar of big money, no matter what the cost to American democracy.

It wasn’t always like this.

In his 1905 address to Congress, Republican President Theodore Roosevelt decried the corruption that resulted from unlimited corporate power and political spending. “[T]he debauchery of politics and business by great dishonest corporations is far worse than any actual material evil they do to the public,” Roosevelt said. “There is no enemy of free government more dangerous and none so insidious as the corruption of the electorate.”


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