Warren Buffett has a lot of money. And he wants to make sure he spends it the right way.
The billionaire investor, namesake of the Buffett Rule tax fairness proposal, is both a frequent campaign contributor and an outspoken opponent of the corrupting impact of money flooding our politics.
And this wildly successful businessman -- who stands to benefit from favorable government policies toward the rich -- is refusing to give to super PACs. Why? Because he knows that unlimited money from corporations and wealthy individuals damages our democracy and gives the powerful few undue influence in our government.
According to Politico’s Alexander Burns in a piece titled “Buffett: No super PACs for me:”
As Warren Buffett gets involved in the Nebraska Senate race on Bob Kerrey's behalf, the billionaire tells my colleague Manu Raju that he's not going to be cutting any Koch-sized checks for Democrats in 2012:…
[U]nlike conservative billionaires — like fellow Nebraskan Joe Ricketts and Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson — who plan to give tens of millions of dollars to outside groups to sway the elections, Buffett won’t use his personal fortune to bankroll any high-spending super PACs.
Buffett’s resistance to embracing super PACs underscores a Democratic dilemma from coast to coast: Because they have moral objections to unlimited spending from third-party groups, would-be Democratic donors refuse to give super PACs cash even though they could have a lasting impact on the presidential and congressional elections.
“I am 100 percent behind Kerrey,” Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, told POLITICO. “I will not be doing super PACs of any sort. I think allowing unlimited contributions to campaigns is a terrible idea and an important and unfortunate step toward a plutocracy.”
Buffett’s steadfast commitment to fairness in elections -- especially when it comes to political spending -- exemplifies a broader reluctance among ultra-wealthy Democratic donors to forgo their principles in order to help Democrats slam their political opponents.
In an election characterized by a parade of billionaires shoveling out cash for their favored candidates, one billionaire, the third-richest person in the world, is saying no. He understands the damaging role money is continuing to play in our elections. And in this way, Warren Buffett has succeeded in setting yet another example for others in his tax bracket to follow.