Who is buying our democracy?

To the Editor:

The huge amount of corporate money in our politics is tainting our democracy.

Presently, any candidate for U.S. senator must raise $10,000 per day to be competitive. When candidates have to spend so much time raising such large amounts of money, they are going to be more influenced by their wealthy donors than the average American donor.

It has been four years since the Supreme Court determined that corporations are citizens and can fund candidates via outside groups with no disclosure rules.

During the last election, Crossroads GPS, a conservative campaign funding group, raised $180,000,000 from just 291 secret donors, which averages $600,000 per donor.

That much money will buy a lot more influence than the $25 to $75 donation given by the average American.

Between 1998 and 2010, business trade groups and businesses spent $28.6 billion on lobbying Congress compared to just $492 million for labor groups. This is a 60:1 advantage for the business point of view. Who do you think Congress is more likely to listen to and support?

Currently, a public campaign financing bill is being introduced in Congress that would amplify the voice of everyday Americans by matching small donations at a 1:7 ratio.

If 99 percent of Americans are to continue to have a voice in government, public financing needs to be reformed so that we won’t be drowned out by the rich and powerful 1 percent.

NANCY IANNUZZELLI

Amherst