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Open Secrets is a project of the Center for Responsive Politics. Open Secrets is a tool for everyday people to get behind the scenes information on money in politics.
Why is it important to know about the impact of money in our political system? It’s important because the money given to leaders and their PACs (http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs//index) influence decision making practices – whether we like it or not. It’s in each person’s best interest to understand how their elected officials are potentially influenced by campaign contributions.
Leaders from a variety of political ideologies are influenced by money – unfortunately republicans, democrats and independents make decisions on how they will practice their leadership and how decisions will be made on policy based on endorsements.
Choose the state of California http://www.opensecrets.org/races/
Choose TWO elected officials in CA
See how much money they raised in the 2014, 2016 or 2018 elections, review individual donors and in particular – the corporate donors.
Due to the changes in campaign finance laws (Citizens United- 2010)(https://reclaimdemocracy.org/who-are-citizens-united/) there has been an increase in campaign contributions. 2012 was the first national election to see the impact of Citizens United. For this assignment your job will be to speculate on the impact of corporate contributions on the future of California and it’s policy making.
Guiding questions: • What corporations provided campaign contributions for each candidate? • What major political issues are these corporations interested in? • Why do you think the corporation chose that candidate? • Why did some candidates raise more money than others? • What else did you find out about your candidate on Open secrets? Use the conclusion to share your personal beliefs and ideas on the impact of the Supreme Court decision. The majority of your paper should be factual and reporting what you found in your research.
Use the required reading and the following websites as sources for your mid term assignment. If you’d like to use outside sources you are welcome to do so.
The Story of Citizens United and the FEC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5kHACjrdEY
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