Donald Trump Just Made the Case for Campaign Finance Reform

“I will tell you that our system is broken.”

Donald Trump tore up the stage at the first GOP debate, and he threw his fellow candidates into a frenzy when Fox News moderator tried to challenge him on his extensive donations to Hillary Clinton and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“Most of the people on this stage I’ve given to, a lot of money,” Trump responded.

Several of his opponents were quick to deny that they had taken money from Trump, but apparently not all of them could stand the idea of leaving money on the table.

“You’re welcome to give me a check, Donald, if you’d like,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee pitched.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, “I hope you will give to me.”

“Good, sounds good to me Governor,” Trump said.

But he wasn’t done.

“I will tell you that our system is broken. I give to many people,” he said. “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.”

Asked what he got from Hillary Clinton for his donations to her 2007 Senate campaign, Trump bragged, “Well, I’ll tell you, with Hillary Clinton, I said come to my wedding and she came to my wedding, she had no choice, because I gave.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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