Notwithstanding the recent online headline “Influence of super PACs in primaries has been limited,” big money has played a huge role in the 2016 race. This will only escalate in the general election, and continue to be a problem after the election. It’s not only about whether the best-funded candidate wins or loses the nomination or the presidency; it’s about how money buys policy, not just elections.
The larger issue is about the barrier money presents for anyone deciding whether to run for office, the influence of money on races all the way down the ticket, and the skewing of policy priorities toward the interests of the wealthy that occurs after the election is over.
To solve this, we need a comprehensive set of solutions that can be furthered at the national, state, and local levels. Common Cause and other leading democracy advocates have presented such a program in the "Fighting Big Money" agenda. It includes reforms such as a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, public financing of elections, and campaign finance disclosure. Candidates, officials, and citizens should embrace these critical reforms.