Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Money and Politics

With the 2024 elections gearing up, we’ll return to one of the topics that our participants keep circling back to—the role of money in politics.

  • How much of a problem is the Citizens United decision, which provides that corporations and other outside groups can spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.
  • Is the problem really with “corporate” speech, or is it “moneyed” speech (regardless of the form of the speaker)?
  • Does money equate to speech? (Can money supporting speech be regulated without running afoul of the First Amendment?)
  • Should wealthy people be able to purchase advertising (whether broadcast, cable, social media, “swag,” or otherwise) to express their views?
    • Does it matter if those views are about an issue in general versus a candidate in particular? How can we tell the difference?
  • Should anonymous speech be allowed, or should every speaker (or money behind the speaker, advertisement, etc.) be publicly identified?
  • Bottom line: if this is a problem to be solved, how can it be done without infringing on other rights? Where’s the middle ground?

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