US politics is dominated by big money and its role will not end even if Bernie Sanders wins the White House in 2016, former US Democratic senator Mike Gravel says.
Independent Senator Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination, has reportedly raised $26 million from July through September, which is more than any Republican candidate amassed during the same period.
Press TV asked Gravel, a former presidential candidate, on Saturday that does this mean that the era of big money in US politics is finally over.
“No, I don’t think that this is the end of big money in politics,” Gravel said.
“I think there’s an anomaly going on, and that of course is the rise of Sanders who I personally support. And my wife and my daughter both contributed to his campaign and I will add at a later point,” he added.
“However, that anomaly is only on the Democratic side. What you see on the Republican side is Donald Trump, who is using hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money to advance his candidacy,” the 85-year-old stated.
“And of course, Jeb Bush has raised over a $120 million,” he pointed out.
“So how it will play out in the future, I don’t know. I just hope that Sanders can win,” said Gravel, who represented Alaska in the 1970s.
“If he wins, he must have a Congress that will be receptive to his revolutionary policies,” he said of Sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist.
That is an unknown, because the big money in politics — that you are talking about — is money that’s spent on Senate and House races, and governor races,” he said.
“So big money will continue to be spent. Will it be sufficient to override Sanders in his presidential campaign?” Gravel asked. “Bear in mind that Hillary Clinton does have a great deal of money and a great deal of assets, but she has great liabilities.”
“My hope is that Sanders will prevail, but it does not mean that if he prevails that would be end of big money,” he concluded.
In the 2010 Citizens United case ruling, the US Supreme Court allowed unlimited independent spending by corporations in elections.
According to a study published by the New York Times, wealthy individuals and corporations have begun to replace powerless people as direct beneficiaries of the US political system and the Constitution.