SGE Evening Seminar: How Political Donations Influence Economic Decisions

Bob Edgar, President and CEO, Common Cause
Paul S. Herrnson, Director, Center for American Politics and Citizenship, University of Maryland at College Park

Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. (Refreshments 5:45 p.m.)
Conference Room, Common Cause, Room 900, 9th Floor
1133 19th St. N.W., Washington, DC 20036
Metro: Farragut North (red line) or Farragut West (Blue or Orange line)

Light refreshments will be served. The seminar is free and open to all, but is limited to thirty people. Please E-mail Melvyn Sacks at for reservations.

While many other advanced democracies finance candidates to elected offices through special government funding, in the United States candidates for public office must procure campaign funding through private donors. Through Citizens United and other decisions of the Supreme Court, corporations and wealthy individuals can now fund campaigns for all branches of government. For over one hundred years, until the Citizens United decision, corporate funding of American campaigns was banned. Now, there are no limits to contributions from all parts of the political spectrum. Wealthy individuals, the financial industry, and all sorts of other groups can contribute without limit. Donors often have important financial considerations in economic legislation pending before the Administration or Congress.

In the evening seminar, we will discuss potential conflicts of interest raised by this situation, and consider evidence on whether executives and legislators answer to their constituents or to their donors in their economic decisions and votes.

We are pleased to have Bob Edgar of Common Cause, a citizen’s organization devoted to finance reforms; ethics and accountability in government, and Professor Paul S. Herrnson, Director of the Center for American Politics and Citizenship of the University of Maryland at College Park