Together Frankfort launched the Summer Study on the Influence of Money in Politics with a presentation by Kentucky’s Third District U.S. Congressman John Yarmuth on Friday, May 12, at the Paul Sawyier Public Library in Frankfort, Kentucky. This was the first event in the Summer Study of the Influence of Money in Politics, open to all citizens interested in civil dialogue about local, statewide, and national public issues. Together Frankfort's summer Study included workshops, discussion of constitutional resolution proposals, and other actions to promote responsive local, state, and national leadership.
Politically active nonprofits have become a major force in federal elections over the last three cycles, through the use of billions in undisclosed funds. These organizations can receive unlimited corporate, individual, or union contributions that they do not have to make public, and though their political activity is supposed to be limited, the IRS – which has jurisdiction over these groups – by and large has done little to enforce those limits.
Spending by organizations that do not disclose their donors has increased from less than $5.2 million in 2006 to well over $300 million in the 2012 presidential cycle. Rep. Yarmuth has spoken and acted on concerns about this growing trend, which increased exponentially after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on "Citizens United.” In 2014, he sponsored, along with Rep. John Sarbanes (MD, Dem.) the Government By the People Act to get big money out of politics.
“Corporate money equals influence, not free speech,” Yarmuth said. “The last thing Congress needs is more corporate candidates who don’t answer to the American people.” A complete and detailed report of the comments made by Representative John Yarmuth's discussion is further provided in this pdf file. Click on the link, which opens a separate document.