Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
This Is Uncomfortable
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report

Coal comfort

Sep 12, 2019
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

How big donors affect American politics

Kai Ryssdal Sep 5, 2014
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

In the 2012 election, over 5 million small donors contributed about $370 million to the presidential campaigns. Another 100 people gave $470 million; those people are the mega-donors.

“The folks who spent the most money … did not, of course, ultimately get their way,” says Ken Vogel, author of “Big Money: 2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and a Pimp — on the Trail of the Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics.”

“There is a tendency to think that just because Barack Obama was reelected and because Democrats held the Senate that maybe big money didn’t have a huge impact on our electoral process,” Vogel says.

The Koch brothers are two of the big spenders that Vogel talks about in his book. Charles and David Koch are billionaire industrialists who hold seminars to bring some of the top Republican politicians and big donors together.

“They have become, in many ways, a new political party unto themselves,” says Vogel. “They have real presence. They actually go out and knock on doors, they do phone banking and they do real targeted social media. In some ways, because they don’t have the same restraints that the parties have in the ability to accept these massive checks that keep that infrastructure going, they are in many ways better positioned to do the functions that the party used to really have a monopoly on.”

Vogel says some of the federal courts’ decisions and legislation are what limits the party and candidates’ ability to accept the money. The result is a shift in power and money from inside the system to outside the system with these big donors. 

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.