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electionlineWeekly

Fall is coming
Can we save democracy from campaigns?

By Seth Flaxman

The presidential campaign is now upon us, and with it comes a nearly endless line of presidential candidates and a wave of money that will crash over our democracy like we’ve never before experienced.

You will read the now-routine media story of “how much the election costs” and you’ll stagger at the hugeness of the numbers. In 2012, presidential and congressional campaigns combined to spend more than $7 billion. The midterms of 2014 posted $3.7 billion all on their own.

I’d caution you to be mindful of the true cost conveyed to you in those stories, however. The sensational numbers and high watermarks mentioned don’t represent money spent on elections — those are the totals spent by campaigns to get candidates into office. There are very real differences between the ideas. Read More…

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