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Jimmy Carter says Money has Corrupted the Election Process

Jimmy Carter says Money has Corrupted the Election Process
February 09
14:26 2016
Former president Jimmy Carter argues that US politics have been corrupted by money, saying that today’s presidential campaigns are no more than legalized “bribery.”

To give you an idea, the Republican presidential hopefuls spent over $40 million on TV advertising for the Iowa caucus; the Dems spent nearly $17 million. Carter argues that these vast sums of money have completely corrupted US politics. He considers money’s role in elections to be the biggest change since his time as president during the 70’s and 80’s.

“I didn’t have any money,” he told BBC Radio. “Now there is a massive infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns for all the candidates. Some candidates like Trump (whom he prefers to Ted Cruz) can put in his own money, but others have to be able to raise $100 million to $200 million just to get the Republican or Democratic nomination. That’s the biggest change in America.”

He called the 2010 Citizens United court ruling, which likened campaign spending to free speech, an “erroneous ruling.” And although he did not mention the Citizens United ruling by name, he implied that the court decision has resulted in super PAC funding vehicles that many believe are being used by big businesses to buy political influence.

“The erroneous ruling of the supreme court, where millionaires, billionaires, can put in unlimited amounts of money, give legal bribery the chance to prevail, because all the candidates, whether they are honest or not, or whether they are Democratic or Republican, depend on these massive infusions of money from very rich people in order to have money to campaign.”

Working- and middle-class Americans are being “cheated out of an opportunity to improve their lot in life,” argues the former Democratic president who started his working life as a peanut farmer. “As the rich people finance the campaigns, when candidates get in office they do what the rich people want. And that’s to let the rich people get richer and richer and the middle class get left out. All the statistics show that the middle class are stagnant or going down in their income for the work that they do,” he said.

“When I ran against Gerald Ford, or later Ronald Reagan, we didn’t raise a single penny to finance our campaign against each other…nowadays you have to have hundreds of millions of dollars to prevail.”

The former president also discussed the progress of the Carter Center and its goal to eliminate guinea worm disease. “We’ve now got down to the point where with a few more careful monitoring stages where we can isolate every person who has guinea worm, we can do away with it completely all over the world,” he explained proudly.

The charity has managed to slash the number of cases from 126 in 2014 all the way to 22. In regards to his own health problems, he said that he is still undergoing cancer treatment but that his body is responding well.


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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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