Voters who wish to make government in the United States more responsive to the public advocate for campaign finance reform. This became an especially salient issue after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. This ruling opened the floodgates to unlimited spending in elections if done independently of campaigns and parties. Unlimited political spending is undermining our elections and threatening our Democracy itself.
Virginia campaign finance laws are among the most lax in the nation. As long as the contributions are reported, candidates can spend the funds on anything they desire including personal items. In the General Assembly, it is no wonder that Dominion Power, the NRA and the other interest groups lobbying the politicians wield such great legislative clout.
Citizens United allows political action committees to utilize legal loopholes to establish themselves as “social welfare organizations.” This enables billionaires to funnel millions in campaign contributions without the need to reveal their identities. The secret identity of the donors makes it possible to conceal the source of the money so the public does not know who is behind the political advertisements. It is this concealment that gave rise to the moniker “Dark Money.”
A news article published in The Winchester Star on Oct. 16, 2017, revealed Jill Vogel’s law firm as being in the “Dark Money” business. The article reported that “between 2005 and 2016 PACs and nonprofits that have hired Vogel’s firm spent close to $1 billion on federal elections.” So Vogel’s firm is making a fortune trashing American Democracy.
Finally the news article ends with the statement, “legal experts say that as managing partner of the 13-lawyer firm, Vogel is ultimately responsible for its actions, much as a chief executive is responsible for the activities of a corporation.”
It should now be crystal clear to all voters that Jill “Dark Money” Vogel will not be supporting campaign finance reform. Nor is Vogel likely to drain the swamps in Richmond. You can expect as long as she is in the state Senate where money flows, power goes.