Sam A. Fedele 
Member since Mar 31, 2017


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Re: “Feedback 4/12

Larry Baker,
The world presents an inexhaustible supply of beliefs that lack basis in fact.
Climate change denial is a prominent example. I cited the money-in-politics studies so folks could review actual evidence. I suggest you start here: https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf.
I also suggest that you review the letters exchanged between Jefferson & Adams circa 1814.
Hillary Clinton's top 6 donors (including super PACs) were ALL hedge funds - averaging $10M each. Do you truly believe that Goldman Sachs, et. al. invest millions in government out of altruism? Another study, this one at Stanford, looked at return on investment for large campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures. On tax policy the returns were as high as 20,000 : 1!
Again, the money = speech decision in Buckley v. Valeo (1976) allocates "free" political speech in direct proportion to wealth, an incorrect interpretation of the 1st amendment.

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Posted by Sam A. Fedele on 04/14/2017 at 8:13 AM

Re: “Feedback 3/29

Response to Jack Tumulty on Citizens United
Let me help Mr Tulmulty and others struggling to understand the full implications of Citizens United and related decisions. First, I offer the requested references to detailed academic studies.
St. Louis University published a study looking at the relationship between federal contracts and campaign contributions between 1979 and 2006. It was found that companies contributing more money to federal candidates subsequently received more contracts, more than merely suggestive of quid pro quo.
In September of 2015 professors from Princeton and Northwestern published a study that analyzed 1,778 national policy issues, looking at three distinct groups, the very wealthy, corporate interest groups, and ordinary citizens. They measured the correlation between a group's support for an issue and the probability that the issue would be enacted into law. What they found is disturbing, "Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."
Also in 2015 professors from Stanford published a study providing "evidence that corporations and business PACs use donations to acquire immediate access and favor."
What we now know from rigorous study is that money is power in DC and our statehouses. Influence is wielded by those with big money while ordinary citizens, both registered Republicans and registered Democrats, are left essentially without representation. This reality describes oligarchy, not representative democracy. Do defenders of unlimited spending on elections sincerely believe that the authors of our Constitution intended that political influence be allocated in direct proportion to wealth? I encourage those seeking a deeper dive into the impact of money on our Republic to view this 24 minute presentation: https://youtu.be/GcxYBfYO03I

Posted by Sam A. Fedele on 03/31/2017 at 3:13 PM

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