The Rising Price of American Democracy

The Rising Price of American Democracy.

This year’s elections are expected to be the most expensive in American history. Individual donors, political parties, political action committees and interest groups are pouring billions of dollars into local, state and federal races. Who’s buying what, and from whom? Is such spending a form of free expression? Or is the republic itself up for sale? Explore the intersection of money, politics and public policy with Andrew Romanoff, former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, as well as a series of special guests. Analyze recent changes in campaign finance law and practice, including the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and the rise of super PACs. Do these changes comport with the Constitution or contort it? Discuss the impact on voters, candidates, elected officials and the decisions they make. Are most politicians inclined to do their donors’ bidding—to “dance with them what brung ya”? Haven’t they always been? Debate proposals for reform. Will money forever be (to borrow Jesse Unruh’s phrase) “the mother’s milk of politics”? Consider the consequences for 2012 and for the future of American democracy. Students are asked to watch the October 3 Presidential Debate and attend the October 4 David Von Drehle post-debate lecture at DU. (For up-to-date information on this lecture and other debate-related events, visit Your enrollment in this course automatically registers you for the free Von Drehle lecture.)

Register for this Enrichment Program course online at

Five sessions
Thur., 6:30–8:30 pm, Oct. 11, 18, Nov. 1, 8, 2012
David Von Drehle lecture, Thur., 7 pm, Oct. 4

CRN 1096 / $195

Andrew Romanoff, senior advisor at Golden-based international development organization iDE; former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives; U.S. Senate candidate; education policy advisor to Gov. Roy Romer; winner of numerous state and national awards including GOVERNING magazine’s “Public Official of the Year”

Special Guests Include:
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, former U.S. Senator Hank Brown, former Colorado Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, and Colorado Common Cause Executive Director Elena Nunez.

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