Act One. The Hamster Wheel. Planet Money’s Alex Blumberg and NPR Congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook take a tour through the world of money and politics, discovering just how much time members of congress spend raising money and which committee assignments yield the biggest campaign donations. They also try to figure out what all this money is actually buying.
Act Two. PAC Men. Everything about political fundraising is changing right now, because of the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. Since then, “Super PACs” have been able to funnel huge amounts of anonymous money into races. Producer Ben Calhoun shares the example of Ami Bera, whose run for Congress was dramatically affected by money from a Super PAC.
Act Three. Ten years ago, Congress voted to reform campaign finance, after Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold took up the cause. Here they reunite on the radio, to reminisce and lament how that reform failed. Senator Feingold is author of the book While America Sleeps.
Legal Aspects of Citizens United / Review of Thom Hartmann’s Unequal Protection The Madison Institute Fred Wade, constitutional lawyer and TMI Board member led the discussion of corporate personhood, the topic of “Unequal Protection”.
Rights, Powers and Privileges Paul Westlake, Brooklyn
Russ Feingold: How Campaign Finance Reform Could Help Business Harvard Business Review