And just to point out that the Democratic Party needs some serious reform: Democrats want reform — but court big money in the meantime
Carrie Levine and Michael Becket report at the Center for Public Integrity:
Political candidates should not “depend on large contributions from the wealthy and the powerful,” Democrats on Monday declared while kicking off their national convention.
But the rest of the week made this clear: Democrats have a light year to go before ever reaching that goal.
Banners decorating lampposts along major thoroughfares carried the names of top convention sponsors, such as Comcast, AT&T and Amalgamated Bank.
Corporations such as oil giant Chevron sponsored state delegation lunches.
And the swank lobby of the Ritz-Carlton, with its marble columns and soaring, domed ceiling, was packed all week with the Democrats’ most stalwart bankrollers.
The irony wasn’t lost on anyone.
At the Ritz, which housed elite contributors, donors mingled with lawmakers, shaking hands and greeting their benefactors and other acquaintances.
A long line of dark SUVs lined the sidewalk outside the Ritz, waiting to ferry deep-pocketed contributors from luncheons to cocktail hours to special briefings with top officials.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, while surveying the Ritz lobby, said he and many other lawmakers live a “dual existence.” . . .