Super-PACs, seven-figure checks, billionaire bankrollers, shadowy nonprofits: This is the state of play in what will be the first presidential election since Watergate to be fully privately funded. Faced with this money-drenched system, reformers respond: It won’t last. The pendulum is poised to swing once again. ‘I promise you, there will be huge scandals,’ McCain said in March, ‘because there’s too much money washing around, too much of it we don’t know who’s behind it, and too much corruption associated with that kind of money.” Russ Feingold, McCain’s longtime legislative partner, agrees. “When this kind of money is changing hands secretly, it’s almost automatic that there will be a scandal,” Feingold says. “And this scandal could be the mother of all scandals.”
Mother Jones has a really great in-depth look at campaign financing in the last four decades, which will probably infuriate you—especially if you’re the person who doesn’t believe that corporations are people, too. Both Republicans and Democrats have abused the system, and it’s unfortunate that we’ve allowed our laws and policies to be driven by so much money.