The 'Sheldon Primary' Is What's Wrong With Politics
Dan Balz laments the influence of the super-rich mega-donors on elections
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2014 1:42 PM CDT
In this April 5, 2013, file photo, Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson testifies in Clark County district court in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

(Newser) – If you want to know why Americans are so disgusted with the political system, take a gander toward Las Vegas, where would-be Republican presidential candidates are lining up to kiss the ring of Sheldon Adelson. "Adelson has become a symbol of the new system of financing presidential elections," writes Dan Balz at the Washington Post. "Courting wealthy people will always be an essential part of running for president," but Adelson and his ilk giving tens of millions of dollars "have changed the game."

Candidates know that if they impress Adelson, they'll "have what is now a required asset of any campaign—a well-funded super PAC." The Supreme Court helped get us here, but so did politicians like George W. Bush and Barack Obama who "put political need ahead of public interest" by ditching the public financing system. That system was established thanks to public outrage over a $2 million donation to Richard Nixon's 1972 campaign. In 2012, Adelson spent a total of $92 million. "Is it any wonder that the public has a cynical view of how the system works?" Click for the full column.