Money in Politics

The mission of Purchasing Power: The Brennan Center’s Money in Politics Blog is to publish well-informed commentary, fresh questions, and new answers about the facts of money in politics.  We are interested in evidence-based inquiry and conclusions, as opposed to mere theory or conviction.  What do we know, and how do we know it? We hope this commentary will provide insight into the events of the day.  Americans face a steady flow of news about record political fundraising and spending, policy battles between the donor elite and the non-donor majority, special industry influence of government insiders, public corruption, and more.

Want to write for us?  By submitting any material to Purchasing Power, you agree to the terms and conditions for contributors. Please read the blog's mission statement and submission guidelines before submitting, and send all submissions (or pitches) to

Announcing the Launch of Purchasing Power: The Brennan Center’s Money in Politics Blog

The Brennan Center for Justice launches a conversation about money in politics and the influences it creates in policy and political power. [Read More]


How Do Campaign Finance Regulations Affect Upper Class Bias in Political Power?

Witko's research shows that campaign finance regulation, even if weak, plays a role in the overall mobilization of organizations and bias with in campaign finance systems. However, campaign finance can be associated with access, which can give upper class contributors greater opportunity to shape policy. [Read More]


Trump Consumer Chief's Advice to Bankers Raises Questions About How Money Buys Political Influence

Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, recently told banking executives that, while in Congress, he would turn away any lobbyist who had not contributed to his campaign. He urged the lenders to use their influence to get lawmakers to gut the agency. But what about working Americans and debtors-can their influence measure up? [Read More]


Beyond Campaign Contributions: Employee Mobilization as Corporate Political Power

Corporate employee mobilization has become an increasingly common mechanism for businesses to become involved in changing politics. Setting limits on employee mobilization is an important way to ensure all American citizens are represented equally. [Read More]


What are the Russians Up To?

There are hints that Russia’s meddling did not end with Trump’s election. [Read More]


How the Trump Team Opened the Door to Questions about Financial Conflicts

The Trump administration’s refusal of advice from the nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics leaves Americans wondering about improper connections between financial interests and government action. [Read More]


Will Strengthening Party Fundraising Result in More Moderate Politics?

Hassell's research suggests that party leaders connected to the party, that have ideological preferences, support candidates based on the party's preferences rather than choosing more moderate candidates to gain votes in the general election. [Read More]