Bush ethics adviser tells Bill Moyers: Citizens United has made politics a bigger ‘cesspool’
Speaking with ‘Moyers and Company‘ host Bill Moyer, a former White House counselor and chief ethical advisor to President George W. Bush criticized the influence in corporate cash in politics, saying the Citizens United decision made the cesspool that is American politics even worse.
Plugging his book, Taxation Only With Representation: The Conservative Conscience and Campaign Finance Reform, author and attorney Richard Painter said that campaign finance reform is not just an issue for liberals, and that grassroots Republicans recognize the problem too.
“I think there is an overwhelming support for campaign finance reform, and that includes conservatives and Republicans,” Painter explained. “Where the problem is is with the leadership; with the politicians who are benefiting from the big campaign contributions, and the dark money in the electioneering communications and so forth. And the leadership in the Republican Party, in particular, has failed to address this issue.”
Painter took particular exception with the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, which opened up the corporate money floodgates.
“I think the Court was wrong in that decision. I don’t think that reversing the Citizens United decision is going to solve the problem — it would make it better. That decision certainly did a lot of damage, but we need to do a lot more than go back to 2008, before the Citizens United case, to fix this problem. I think it was a cesspool,” Painter stated. “It’s just that the Supreme Court has made the cesspool that much worse with a string of very problematic decisions including Citizens United and McCutcheon [v. FEC] and some others. That’s been a serious problem.”
Listen to the audio below via Moyers and Company: