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Susan Asher-Koenig argues, "Our leaders have not been responsive to the voice of the average American voter."

Fighting corruption can unite the American people

Asher-Koenig, a fiction writer and retired psychotherapist, is a communications volunteer at Wolf-PAC, which advocates for a constitutional amendment to permit more regulation of money in politics.

Regardless of our differences, and despite the ever-widening rift between the left and the right, one thing remains true: Our leaders have not been responsive to the voice of the average American voter.

According to Martin Gilens, professor of public policy at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs, "economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence." While this has been an issue in American politics since the inception of our democracy, this reality has been exacerbated in recent years by a gradual loosening of restrictions on election financing.

Tight controls on campaign financing, enacted to protect the integrity of our democratic process, date back to the Tillman Act of 1907. The corruption of campaign financing began its slow but steady incursion into our politics in 1976, when the Supreme Court held in Buckley v. Valeo that political spending was a function of freedom of speech, and that restriction on such spending was a violation of the First Amendment.

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