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Trevor Potter Talks Campaign Finance, Super PACs With Bill Moyers

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Posted on Sep 24, 2012

In the latest edition of “Moyers & Company,” host Bill Moyers talks with former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter about big money spending in political campaigns and the need to reform the system.

Potter, who along with Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart brilliantly explained the ins and outs of super PACs in a segment on “The Colbert Report” earlier this year, says that the groups have become like “shadowy party committees.”

Super PACs “are not what the court said we were going to get,” Potter told Moyers. “When the courts midwifed these things, they said, ‘They can’t corrupt because they’re totally independent of candidates and parties. And that’s why you can give them an unlimited amount, because you’re not buying access, the candidates may not like them, they’re wholly independent.’ Well that’s baloney. They’re not independent in any way.”

Potter also reiterated the need for full disclosure when it comes to campaign finances. After all, he pointed out, the candidates themselves know the source from which their money is flowing.

“I can assure you that if someone is spending millions of dollars to elect the candidate, the candidate knows where that money is coming from. There’s nothing illegal about telling them, but the voters aren’t going to know that,” Potter said. “We’re creating opportunities for corruption and candidates being beholden to specific private interests because of funding, yet there’s no disclosure to the rest of us.”


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—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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