Democratic Senator Richard Durbin said the following recently on a Chicago radio station about the power of banks in the U.S. Senate—
“And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”
Senator Durbin is the number two Democrat in the Senate after Majority Leader Harry Reid.
A Glenn Greenwald post in Salon deals with this issue in much greater detail. It’s well worth reading.
It’s no surprise that these things are true even in our current majority-Democrat Senate.
For all the cynicism about politicians, many want to believe the people they vote for put average folks first. While what we have today in Washington is much better than what we had before the 2008 election, one wonders if our political system will ever be free of big money influence no matter who we elect.
Of course, some blame must rest with the public. Public financing of campaigns is an idea that has long been out there. But it’s an issue that does not excite people. Also, people often oppose government action reflexively even when it might be helpful.
In my own case , I supported Barack Obama when he turned down public money for his Presidential race in 2008 because my main focus was on Mr. Obama winning. One can easily say I took a short cut against my own beliefs in order to win.
Here is the web home of Public Campaign. These folks advocate for the public financing of campaigns.