May 6, 2013
The role of money in politics was at the center of a discussion and debate at James Madison's Montpelier.
A conference on campaign finance reform has attracted political scientists and scholars from all over the country to the presidential house on Monday.
Those who attended looked over the 2012 election results, and concluded that money played a smaller role in both presidential and congressional races than in years past.
"The importance of our governance and our government statecraft that James Madison and people like him put together in the U.S. Constitution is really not at risk but is challenged by a few people having more influence than others because of money," said Doug Smith, executive director of the Center for the Constitution.
Another issue for the conference was discussing if all Americans are fairly represented.
"If it's big donors that are influencing politics, where's our voice? We're voters, but we might not be able to write that big check," Smith said. "Is our voice as important as those who have lobbyists all over Capitol Hill or in Richmond?"
The conference also looked at whether campaign finance rule can or should be reformed, especially since there is nothing in the Constitution on it.
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