Great discussion with Brian Lehrer on WNYC about Plutocrats United. Listen!
Richard L. Hasen, professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections (Yale University Press, 2016), says the real challenge with regulating campaign finance is how to balance free speech against political inequality.
“Money doesn’t win elections,” Hasen tells Brian, “But it gives you a much better chance of being elected. Newt Gingrich didn’t succeed, but he got chance after chance because someone with money wanted him to. It’s like buying multiple lottery tickets.”
And according to Richard Hasen, the left and the right are united on this issue, in terms of avoiding action: “Obama is the worst president on campaign finance since Richard Nixon.”
On campaign finance reform, Hasen proposes giving voters 100 dollars in publicly financed vouchers and capping total spending by individuals and corporations at $25,000 per federal election — and $500,000 per cycle.
“I don’t think there’s too much money in politics,” Hasen says, “I think there is too much BIG money.”