While I’ve never found rhetoric blaming corporate greed for society’s ills to be completely convincing, learning some basic facts about campaign finance has forced me to conclude that corporate interests have, to a large degree, purchased our political system.
For example, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Rep. Scott Tipton received nearly a third of his last election funding, a whopping $463,000, from the banking, finance and real estate industries. He also received a substantial amount from the oil and gas industries. Less than 5% of Tipton’s money came from small donors.
Since there is oil and gas to be extracted from public lands in his district, that industry’s desire to influence Tipton is understandable, but banking? Why are the likes of Bank of America, Charles Schwab and the North Carolina conglomerate Truist Financial pouring money into the campaign of a low-profile congressman from rural Colorado?
The answer is that he sits on the House Banking Committee. This means he can vote to pass bills the banks want passed (which he has) and vote against the bills they don’t.
In discussions of how our public lands should be administered, Tipton has stood resolutely on the side of his oil and gas donors (his refusal to support the CORE Act being the most recent example).
When Congress debates what regulations are needed to protect us from another financial collapse, we can be reasonably certain Tipton will represent the interests of his big bank donors over those of us one-vote citizens.
Herbert D. BowmanDurango