to see how citizens united is hurting democracy, look at local elections
We have seen its impact in federal elections, where billionaires sponsor candidates like horse racing.
But at the state and local levels, the decision has a real transformative effect.
It turns out that you don\'t need to be brother Koch to be king.
From Montana, where state council seats can be obtained for $20,000, to San Francisco, where the mayor position can be won with just $1 million of external support, big consumers find cheaper and stronger influence by narrowing their horizons.
As Rex hinkfield, one of Missouri\'s largest political donors, recently said at the local level, \"you\'ll be surprised at how much impact you can make.
\"Since 2010, much of the growth in external spending has come from groups that specifically elect a candidate, often assisted by former advisers and colleagues of the candidate.
These groups receive unlimited donations.
As former colleagues have a close understanding of the campaign strategy and donors, candidates can have special confidence in the work of these groups.
Despite the candidates
Specific groups are usually super PACs, and it has to disclose donors under federal and many state laws, so-
Organizations known as \"black money\" have begun to play this role.
We can\'t know all the disturbing conflicts of interest that politicians may have in these situations, but looking at what\'s happening in the US gives us a taste of the sweetness.
For example, in a scandal called a \"nightmare scene\" of corruption, former Utah Attorney General John Swallow used the \"independent\" group to plan ads for his 2012 campaign at payday loan companies, in exchange for which he promised to regulate the companies, according to a survey by the Utah Legislature.
Swallow\'s campaign staff created a network called \"friendly groups\", just like the proper role of the government education association, to cover up the lender\'s spending of $450,000.
Not all cooperation is secret.
More and more candidates raise huge amounts of money directly for the \"independent\" groups that support them.
Florida Governor Rick Scott makes millions of dollars for a group dedicated to re-election this year, let\'s get started
His name is also Scott\'s campaign slogan.
Florida has set direct contributions to candidates at $3,000;
Let\'s get started. We have raised more than $28 million.
The group has spent nearly $11 million on pro-. Scott ads—
According to the Public Integrity Center, this year there are more state-level than any outside group except the Republican Governors Association.
Scott\'s rival, Charlie Crist, is also working closely with outside groups to help raise more than $14. 6 million.
While dozens of notable examples of cooperation have not been contained in state and local movements across the country, some jurisdictions have begun to take action.
Minnesota has recently implemented some of the country\'s toughest
Coordinate policies that prohibit candidates from raising funds for super PACs that support them and see the candidate\'s presence in external advertising as coordination.
The most comprehensive counter
The coordination proposal is the federal proposal.
Launched in SeptemberS. Reps.
David Price and Chris Van Hollen believe that the bill will be subject to external spending to promote candidates who are \"not completely independent of the candidate.
\"Not just casual communication with candidates, we will ban unlimited spenders.
\"Before joining the super PAC that supports the candidate, the former employee of the candidate must wait longer.
Although Congress is unlikely to pass the bill in the near future, the proposal provides a model for states seeking to limit the impact of deep corruption
Profits from donors and companies.
The enormous influence of wealth in our politics has led to greater representation than the most difficult coordination rules can solve.
Even if it is not coordinated, huge amounts of money have too much power.
Strong coordinated deterrence, however, is critical to maintaining our existing regulations, such as direct contribution limits and the requirement to publicly disclose related expenditures.
While we strive to expand the Supreme Court\'s concept of constitutional democracy, we must strive to make \"independence\" in independent spending mean something real.
Lee is a lawyer at the Brennan Justice Center at New York University Law School.
Brent Ferguson is an advisor to the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, who works in the political team.