Tom Steyer’s presence on the debate stage makes a mockery of US democracy

A 2010 Supreme Court ruling opened floodgates to big money

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
@AndrewBuncombe
Thursday 17 October 2019 01:39
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The 62-year-old billionaire was among 12 Democratic candidates debating in Ohio
The 62-year-old billionaire was among 12 Democratic candidates debating in Ohio

For as long as anyone can remember, progressives have loved to complain about the pernicious influence of the billionaire Koch brothers. There’s only one brother, Charles, still active in politics now, after David died this summer.

Over their lives, the brothers and their network have spent hundreds of millions of dollars backing interests such as the fossil fuel industry, and trying to keep government out of areas such as healthcare. In the 2016 cycle, they spent an estimated $1bn – the same as the Republican and Democratic parties each did.

But it’s not just on the right where big money buys a seat at the table.

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