As the presidential race in the Dominican Republic heats up, news outlet Dominican Today has published a story about the impact funds from criminal organizations may have on the overall political system in the country. Corruption is a major ongoing issue in the country and as the saying goes, “money talks.”
Transparency International is an organization that tracks public sector corruption in different countries. They rated the Dominican Republic among the most corrupt countries in 2015. In 2014, the organization issued a press release urging to the President of the Dominican Republic to reject a law that would make it harder to prosecute public officials for misconduct.
“Let’s not forget that the country’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index score is only 29, on a scale from 0 – perceived to be highly corrupt – to 100 – perceived to be very clean,” Manfredo Marroquín, Secretary General of the Network for Transparency in Central America and the Dominican Republic, said. “The corrupt should be brought to justice and not receive protection for their crimes.”
The United States is dealing with a similar issues in terms of corruption and perception. Citizen’s United caused a sea change in the political system of the United States. Essentially, it caused a massive flood of money to enter the electoral system equating money and free speech. Since the United States Supreme Court rendered a decision in the case in 2010, it changed the way non-profit organizations can spend money, which increased the number of political action committees (PACs) and other similar organizations, removing the previous financial restrictions on them. The effects of that decision are being felt today at almost all levels of politics.
While the marriage between money and politics continues to be worked out, the importance of continued vigilance on the issue of corruption needs to be maintained. The website It’s A Money Thing published a post in which they assembled quotes from people about money in politics.
“Politics is a damn expensive business. I had one hell of a time trying to raise money as a candidate. I had to put a second mortgage on our house to get that campaign started, and I ended up spending over $300,000 to get elected. I believe that public financing of federal election campaigns is the only thing that will insure good candidates and save the two-party system. It is the most degrading thing in the world to go out with your hat in your hand and beg for money, but that’s what you have to do if you haven’t got your own resources.”
— Joe Biden (1974)
“I will tell you that our system is broken. I give to many people, I give to everybody,
when they call I give, and you know what? When I need something from them, two years, three years later, I call, they are there for me”
— Donald Trump
“The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy” — Theodore White