Money doesn’t serve people

Our government should serve the people, not special interest groups.

Daily Editorial Board

In our day, even amidst economic recessions, the flow of money into politics is incessant. From legislation influenced by corporations through political lobbying to drafting model legislation through groups like  the American Legislative Exchange Council, we must tell our legislators that this model is not democratic. Our interests as citizens are not being served.

Even organizations that are supposedly in favor of transparency are fighting against their missions. In 2012, Google has already eclipsed its four largest competitors combined (Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and Apple) to spend more than $5 million on lobbying — directly in the wake of anti-trust violation investigations, bypassing privacy settings in web browsers and federal fines for its data collection practices.

An attempt by the Federal Communications Commission to make political contributions from media corporations more transparent is being opposed by the world’s largest media-owning corporations, companies like News Corporation, Walt Disney, NBC Universal and Allbritton, among a long list of others. These corporations all own media organizations that tout transparency and access to information but are now fighting to protect their own actions from being publicly disclosed and easily accessed.

This trend in the U.S. must stop. Pressure from these sources is clearly not “informing” our politicians but rather providing them with biased research and skewing the playing field toward those who can afford lobbyists. For us to be a free nation, we need our big businesses and special interests to stop telling the government how to protect its people. We must ensure that those with money to spend are not a politically influential power in our country.