[Howard Klein] asks what can be done about the cozy relationship between politicians and those they regulate and it’s one of the fundamental problems in our democracy. The amount of money in politics is institutionalizing this corruption on a level we haven’t seen before in the modern era. I certainly don’t have the answer although many smart people are pondering the problem.
One thing I do know. Citizen engagement is absolutely necessary if we care about having a democracy. The only thing a politician cares about more than having enough money is having enough votes. They obsessively follow their local news and pay close attention to any shifts among their constituents. It’s far more powerful than we recognize.
Money will always be in politics to some extent. It’s like water — it always finds an outlet. But the dam has burst at the moment and the only thing that can possibly counteract it in the short term is hardcore voter involvement in the process. You decide how to best to do that, whether it’s the Occupy movement or writing letters to your congressman or supporting some of the good guys or targeting the bad guys. It’s all good and it’s all necessary. This flood of money isn’t going to stop any time soon.