The Citizens United decision said money in politics is free speech and expanded the opportunities for more and more money to enter the political system with the sources undisclosed and hidden (dark money). Some say that more money brings more choice in candidates and policies. Others are wary of the enormous influence big donors can have on campaigns, especially undisclosed donors: who can run for office, what legislation gets through Congress and open and hidden impacts.
This extraordinary group of speakers will describe what role money plays in politics and identify ideas and efforts underway to reform this system.
David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice, is a 20-year veteran of money in politics organizing and advocacy, has managed or consulted on six winning campaigns for state policy, and pioneered electoral and issue accountability campaigns on the issue. He is a regularly sought strategist for organizations, foundations, and elected officials seeking reform.
Lisa Gilbert is the Vice President of Legislative Affairs at Public Citizen. She advocates for government transparency and integrity, financial reform, civil justice, and consumer protection. Previously, Gilbert ran the Congress Watch Division at Public Citizen and prior to that was the Democracy Advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, where she focused on voting rights, ethics, and campaign finance reform.
William Schluter has a 40-year political career in New Jersey. Initially elected to Pennington Borough Council, he then served in the New Jersey Assembly and the State Senate, focusing his career on combating political corruption. He authored pioneering laws regulating campaign finance and lobbying. He has recently written a book, published by Rutgers Press, entitled: “Soft Corruption: How Ethical Misconduct Undermines Good Government, And What to Do About It”. More recently, Schluter served as vice-chair of the State Ethics Commission.
Program moderated by Lisa L. Miller, moderator, is Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University.