Think Small Donors Are Good for Politics? Think Again
Ezra Klein: They're making things worse by encouraging 'polarization' of parties
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2013 12:57 PM CDT
Campaign signs for President Obama and Mitt Romney before the November vote.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(Newser) – Quick, which makes for a healthier political system: big donors or small? Many would pick the latter, on the theory that ordinary citizens shelling out $25 apiece is far more noble than DC lobbyists writing fat checks. But at Bloomberg View, Ezra Klein makes the case that small donors might actually be worse. They tend to be "much, much more ideologically polarized" than the vast majority of Americans who donate nothing, and they want the candidates who get their money to be staunch partisans.

"Big money often wants the two parties more or less to get along; no one gets a tax break if legislation dies on the floor," writes Klein. "Small money will turn on you if you dare cut a deal with the other side." Both kinds of donors have the potential to harm, but it's the "polarization" associated with small money "that probably poses the bigger threat to American politics right now." Public financing can be part of the solution, but we have to recognize that this bitter partisanship isn't going away. We also need to change rules—like those on Senate filibusters, for example—"to keep polarized parties from undermining the well-being of the country." Click for Klein's full column.

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PadrePio
May 10, 2013 5:43 AM CDT
OK why is Ezra Kline still working? He is an asshat of the first order. Gee let's see if an individual contributes to a candidate and expects that candidate to adhere to a certain set of principles it is worse than an oil company buying influence to get tar sands pipeline built through prime farmland. This is how this asshat thinks.
democracy1776
May 10, 2013 4:43 AM CDT
Ezra Kline will always throw the working man under the bus. Kline did the same thing to Clinton. I lost all respect for Kline long ago. This jerk has no loyalty to anything but MONEY. Everyone that I know will not trust this jerk ever again.
Just_Dave
May 9, 2013 11:18 PM CDT
I read the comments in this thread hoping there had been some miraculous advance in the collective intellect of our Newser group. ... Federally fund elections. Take out the money as a factor. Add in term limits and you've pretty much fixed everything. Know that in 20 years or so you'll have to come up with another fix because those bastards will have figured out a way around that too. We have to do something about the press too. ...while maintaining the first amendment. Opinion pieces should have a huge red sign that says 'OPINION PIECE' by So N. So. Same with all media news outlets. Any story that is proven to be in error or is reported from a purely biased standpoint will be given equal time x 2 for the opposite side, at the expense of the original outlet. There, fixed America for ya.