"That's exactly what the laws we have are supposed to prevent," Potter said, "that one candidate for public office is not completely beholden to an individual and his interests."
We've been here before.
Congress began to change how Americans fund their elections in the mid-1970s after slush funds and cover-ups forced Richard Nixon's resignation.
"I believe that one of the crucial factors in determining whether or not we consider a government democratic is not how much power public officials have, but rather how public officials secure and retain their offices," Lawton Chiles told his colleagues on the Senate floor in April 1974.
Since then, there's been no shortage of instances of questionable relationships between politicians and the people who bankroll their candidacies.
On the Democratic side, hundreds of Obama's major backers have had repeated access to his top advisers or have attended glamorous state dinners. The White House has declined to offer complete details on those meetings. And on the Republican side, GOP super PACs have faced their own troubles in disclosing donors required under existing rules. Some major contributors have been listed in federal data with ambiguous addresses or shell corporations.
Situations like those have fueled voter distrust of both parties.
Republican Sen. John McCain, a major player in campaign-finance reform, has warned the current system is so influenced by wealthy donors that it will require "major scandals" before it is fixed. Conversely, anti-reform advocates have said campaign-finance deregulation is more faithful to free-speech protections afforded by the First Amendment.
One thing certain in an otherwise uncertain campaign finance landscape is that no changes are imminent. This will be the system at least through the November election.
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