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8 Harv. L & Pol'y Rev. Online 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/hlpron8 and id is 1 raw text is: Trust Issues: Using Corporate Law to
Demonstrate The De-Legitimizing
Effect of Campaign Donations
Michael Pierce*
INTRODUCTION
Americans do        not trust their federal government,' and               hardly
2
anyone approves of the current Congress. Americans even think that
money buys results in Congress.3 Certainly, a very select group of
people contribute the vast majority of the money that funds elections4
not to mention the super-elite world of those making independent
expenditures.5     Yet, individual Congressmen do not appear to be corrupt;
a few notable exceptions aside, the current Congress likely engages in
6
much less quid pro quo bribery than its predecessors. Are the public's
views simply misguided?
Professor Lawrence Lessig, using historical evidence from the
Founding era, argues that Americans' lack of trust is justified because
* J.D. Candidate 2014, Harvard Law School.
'See PEW RESEARCH CTR., Broad Distrust of Government (Jan. 31, 2013), available at
http://www.people-press.org/files/2013/01/1-31-13-5.png (reporting that seventy-three percent of
Americans polled trust the government in Washington to do the right thing only some of the time or
never).
2 See PEW RESEARCH CTR., Congress's Sinking Favorability (Jan. 31, 2013), available at
http://www.people-press.org/files/2013/01/1-31-13-2.png (observing the decline in poll respondents'
approval rating for Congress, which is currently twenty-three percent).
' See LAWRENCE LESSIG, REPUBLIC LOST 132-33 (2011) (stating that seventy-five percent of
Americans believe that campaign contributions buy results in Congress).
4 See CTR. FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS, Donor Demographics,
http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/donordemographics.php (last visited February 22, 2014)
[hereinafter CRP] (stating that 0.l1% of the U.S. Population produced over 64% of the total federal
campaign donations in the 2013-2014 cycle); LAWRENCE LESSIG, LESTERLAND Kindle Locations 74-76
(2013) (discussing similar statistics but with regard to Congressional elections only).
5 See LESSIG, LESTERLAND, supra note 4, at 71-72 (stating that 0.000032 percent-or 99
Americans-gave 60 percent of the individual SuperPAC money spent in the 2012 cycle.).
6 See LESSIG, REPUBLIC LOST, supra note 3, at 8 (At the federal level, bribery is almost
extinct.).

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