Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are the most vocal candidates in pointing out the unholy financial influence of the finance sector on other Presidental hopefuls. For good reason, as revealed in this chart:
Sanders has also criticized fellow leadership candidate Hillary Clinton, for accepting $675,000 of speaking fees and $930,000 of campaign contributions from the firm and its executives during her career. Goldman Sachs has donated at least $250,000 to her family’s foundation — which in 2014 held a donor meeting at the company’s Manhattan headquarters.
See: Election 2016
The Wall Street Journal produced this summary of Clinton’s top 5 contributors.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of all of this, is that the US Supreme Court, the highest court of the self-proclaimed ‘greatest democracy in the world’, enabled this devastating purchase of political influence 5 years ago in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, when it ruled that political spending is protected under the First Amendment, such that corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts of money on political activities, as long as it is done independent of a party or candidate.
Confirmed by a recent report from the Brennan Center, this has been a democratic catastrophe: of the $1 billion spent in federal elections by super PACs since 2010, nearly 60% of the money came from just 195 individuals and their spouses who make the maximum $5,200 donation directly to a candidate, then make unlimited contributions to single-candidate super PACs.