John Lewis: Our elections are going to the highest bidder
Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) appeared on the Diane Rehm Show Wednesday to talk about his new book, "Across That Bridge: Life Lessons And A Vision For Change." The civil rights hero and 13-term Congressman briefly talked about the presidential race and the money flowing into our elections. Here's what he had to say:
REHM: And when you say it goes back to Newt Gingrich, who is still very much on the scene, what do you mean? What happened? What was it that went into the water or the air at that time?
LEWIS: Well, I think the well was poisoned. It was poisoned that we would do everything possible to win and win at any cost. We would destroy you the same way they tried to destroy President Clinton, and they didn't stop until they had a victory, until they took over the majority in the House and they want to win the White House back at any cost. And we must not let that happen. I fear for the future of our country. There's so much money being spent, and there are going to be more millions and billions of dollars will be spent. Our election become an auction and it will go to the highest bidder.
REHM: Do you think that's happening now?
LEWIS: Oh, I think we are in the midst of it all. It's obscene. It’s dangerous to the future of the republic for us to let this happen.
He's right, of course. Our elections are turning into a contest for the highest bidders. Lewis has long supported efforts to reduce the influence of money in our political system through legislation like the Fair Elections Now Act and recently spoke movingly about efforts to weaken the Voting Rights Act.